Native Vertebral Osteomyelitis

Project status:

This project has now been published in Clinical Infection in Practice.

A Multicentre Retrospective Study of Native Vertebral Osteomyelitis


The primary aim of this project is to evaluate the service provided to patients receiving treatment for native vertebral osteomyelitis (NVO) in centres throughout the United Kingdom in comparison to recommendations from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Guidelines, 2015.

The secondary aim is to investigate research gaps identified in the IDSA guidelines:

  • What are the risk factors associated with the development of NVO?
  • Which factors, including demographics, microbiology, serum inflammatory markers and imaging studies are useful in predicting the outcome of patients with NVO?


Vertebral osteomyelitis causes clinicians difficulty due to problems with diagnosis, obtaining positive specimens and ensuring adequate length of appropriate antimicrobial treatment. Patients can experience back pain or neurological sequelae months after diagnosis. Therefore it is important to ensure they receive optimum care in order to avoid long term adverse effects.

This service evaluation will benefit individual centres by helping them to measure their performance against clear standards in order to identify possible areas for future improvement.

We are planning to investigate risk factors associated with poor clinical outcome which will lead to publishable data. All contributing centres with the minimum number of cases will be included in authorship of the publication.