What is it about?

Pyomyositis, an acute bacterial infection of skeletal muscle usually resulting in abscess formation, can account for up to 4% of surgical admissions in high-prevalence tropical countries. It is also well-described in temperate regions. Given its importance and global distribution the literature is relatively sparse: most published studies have been case reports and case series; no meta-analysis has been conducted. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis. All studies in the systematic review (n = 25) and the meta-analysis (n = 12, including one unpublished case control) were hospital based. Half of the studies in the systematic review and all in the meta-analysis were from the tropics. Where cultures were performed, Staphylococcus aureus was the predominant organism isolated (60 to over 90% of cases) and mortality of up to 20% was reported. Factors associated with pyomyositis were HIV infection (OR = 4.82; 95% CI: 1.67–13.92) and fulfilling an AIDS surveillance definition (OR = 6.08; 95% CI: 2.79–13.23). Significant gaps in our understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, and outcome of remain, highlighting the need for further research.

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Why is it important?

Despite its importance, pyomyositis has been inadequately researched, particularly in the tropics. More well-designed observational analytical studies across regions are urgently needed. Research findings will help establish clinical screening for high-risk groups to enhance early detection and appropriate treatment. Pyomyositis deserves serious consideration as a Neglected Tropical Disease.

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This page is a summary of: Factors associated with pyomyositis: A systematic review and meta‐analysis, Tropical Medicine & International Health, August 2021, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/tmi.13669.
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