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Int J Infect Dis. 2001;5(4):180-8.

Community-acquired bacteremia among hospitalized children in rural central Africa.

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  • 1Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Lwiro, Democratic Republic of Congo. Paluku.Bahwere@ulb.ac.be

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the epidemiology of community-acquired bacteremia in children admitted to a rural hospital in central Africa and to identify useful diagnostic signs or symptoms.

METHODS:

On admission, a blood culture was obtained from all children admitted to Children's Hospital of Lwiro between 1989 and 1990. Clinical and biologic signs of infection and nutritional status were recorded.

RESULTS:

Among the 779 children included in the study, 15.9% were bacteremic on admission. The rate of bacteremia was the highest among children with jaundice (20/56; 35.7%) and fever (119/487; 24.4%). In contrast, children with severe malnutrition had a lower rate of bacteremia (13.2%) than weight growth retarded or well-nourished children (19.5%) (P = 0.046). Fever was the most useful diagnostic criteria (sensitivity and negative predictive value of 96.0% and 97.8%, respectively) even in severely malnourished children (sensitivity and negative predictive value of 96.4% and 99.1%, respectively). Enterobacteriacea, mostly Salmonella spp, caused 73% of the bacteremia. There was a high rate of resistance to ampicillin and chloramphenicol among the responsible organisms. Only 31 (47.7%) of 65 bacteremic children responded to the combination of ampicillin and gentamicin. The presence of bacteremia on admission did not significantly increase the risk of morality during hospitalization (19.4% compared with 13.5%; P = 0.088). Age less than 12 months and jaundice were independent risk factors for deaths in bacteremic children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Community-acquired bacteremia caused by multiresistant Enterobacteriacea is an important problem of hospitalized well-nourished and malnourished children in central Africa. Fever on admission is a sensitive diagnostic sign, even in malnourished children.

PMID:
11953214
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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