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Int J Infect Dis. 2007 Mar;11(2):145-51. Epub 2006 Jun 19.

Bacteremia in children at a regional hospital in Trinidad.

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Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies.



The objective of this study was to provide a Trinidadian perspective on pediatric community-acquired and hospital-acquired bacteremia via the documentation of common etiologic agents, antimicrobial profiles of the isolated pathogens, and patient outcome.


This was a six-year retrospective study of children with bacteremia admitted to the pediatric wards of the San Fernando General Hospital, Trinidad.


Seven hundred and four episodes of pediatric bacteremia were reviewed during the six-year study period. The predominant isolate was Staphylococcus aureus (23.9%), followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (15.5%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (12.5%), and Enterobacter spp (11.1%). The remaining isolates each accounted for less than 10% of total isolates. The mortality rate was highest for P. aeruginosa (39.4%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (22.5%), and Escherichia coli (19.2%). Of the six cases due to Neisseria meningitidis, only two survived. The overall mortality rate for the study period was 15.1%, but varied considerably according to age. All deaths due to P. aeruginosa and E. coli occurred in neonates. Almost 90% and about half of all S. aureus were resistant to ampicillin and erythromycin, respectively; nineteen (11.3%) were methicillin-resistant. More than 95% of K. pneumoniae and more than 87% of Haemophilus influenzae were resistant to ampicillin. Group B streptococci were fully susceptible to ampicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, but showed >90% and >70% resistance to tetracycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, respectively. Of the 40 strains of S. pneumoniae isolated, 10.0% had a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) >or=4 microg/mL (resistance) and 12.5% had a MIC=2.0 microg/mL (intermediate resistance) to ceftriaxone, while 7.5% showed intermediate resistance (MIC between 0.12 and 1 microg/mL) and 25.0% showed resistance (MIC >or=2 microg/mL) to penicillin.


The bacteremia rate was found to be 8.4% among hospitalized children suspected of having sepsis and from whom a blood culture was positive. Bacteremia was also associated with a high mortality rate of 15.1%. An unusually high level of bacteremia with Gram-negative enteric bacteria was seen, which might indicate cross infection and reflect a breakdown in infection control measures. Relatively high-level resistance of S. pneumoniae to penicillin and ceftriaxone was not seen, even though the overall prevalence of resistance to other antibiotics among other pathogens was relatively low. The drugs that showed the greatest efficacy were imipenem, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, and the cephalosporins ceftazidime and ceftriaxone.

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