Persistent bacteraemia caused by Staphylococcus aureus in the gall bladder

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Staphylococcus aureusbacteraemia (SAB) remains a complex disease with a high associated morbidity and mortality, especially when it is able to establish an occult nidus safe from antimicrobial eradication. Without rapid identification and intervention, the nidus can cause persistent relapse of disease, morbidity and mortality. Having a high clinical suspicion for the foci of occult S. aureus is important, and awareness of potential sites of infection is critical and can be life-saving.

We present a unique case of a 65-year-old man with end-stage renal disease receiving haemodialysis who developed septic shock from SAB. Despite 18 days of appropriate antibiotics, the patient had persistent high-grade bacteraemia until his gall bladder was ultimately percutaneously drained. The day after drainage, he cleared his blood cultures, although he ultimately passed away as he decided to transition his care to focus on comfort measures.

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