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Trop Doct. 2008 Jan;38(1):43-5. doi: 10.1258/td.2007.060215.

A five-year antimicrobial resistance pattern of Shigella isolated from stools in the Gondar University hospital, northwest Ethiopia.

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Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia.


Shigellosis is a global health problem. However, developing countries, where there is poor hygiene and unsafe water supplies, are especially affected. In the last two decades Shigella isolates have become increasingly resistant to many commonly used drugs. We investigated the antibiotic susceptibility pattern of Shigella isolated from stool specimens processed over five years in the bacteriology laboratory of the University of Gondar Teaching Hospital in northwest Ethiopia. Stool specimens were processed using standard bacteriological methods and data on bacterial culture, isolation and antimicrobial sensitivity were collected in the laboratory logbook. From a total of 2891 cultures stool specimens, 214 yielded Shigella. The overall sensitivity of Shigella to the commonly used antibiotics was: gentamicin (92.1%), ciprofloxacin (91.1%), chloramphenicol (47.2%), cotrimoxazole (26.6%), ampicillin (20.1%) and tetracycline (14%). About 46% of the isolates were resistant to at least three of the most commonly used drugs and 1.4% were resistant to all the commonly used drugs. The results demonstrated continued sensitivity of Shigella to gentamicin and ciprofloxacin and widespread resistance to tetracycline, ampicillin and cotrimoxazole. It is recommended that the use of gentamicin and ciprofloxacin be strictly regulated in the treatment of severe cases in regions where shigellosis is endemic and where the occasional epidemics result in high mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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