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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019 May;100(5):1110-1114. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0789.

Longitudinal Assessment of Antibiotic Resistance in Fecal Escherichia coli in Tanzanian Children.

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Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Haydom Global Health Institute, Haydom, Tanzania.


Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections are a major public health problem, and children in low-resource settings represent a particularly high-risk group. Few data are available on the dynamics of and risk factors for gastrointestinal carriage of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in these vulnerable populations. In this study, we described the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of Escherichia coli isolated from stool specimens collected from children aged 6 to 60 months enrolled in a birth cohort study in Haydom, Tanzania. We estimated the association between sociodemographic risk factors, child illnesses, and antibiotic exposure and E. coli drug resistance. Carriage of antibiotic-resistant E. coli was common starting early in life and did not clearly increase with age. The majority of isolates were resistant to ampicillin (749/837; 89.5%), cefazolin (742/837; 88.6%), and cotrimoxazole (721/837; 86.1%). Resistance to amoxicillin/clavulanate (361/836; 43.2%), ampicillin/sulbactam (178/819; 21.7%), nalidixic acid (131/831; 15.8%), and azithromycin (115/837; 13.7%) was also seen. Only 1.8% (15/837) of the pooled E. coli isolates met the criteria for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase production. High antibiotic use (0.26 additional resistant antibiotic classes; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.47) and high income (0.28 additional resistant antibiotic classes; 95% CI: 0.06, 0.50) were associated with the carriage of antibiotic-resistant E. coli, whereas hospital birth, crowding in the home, improved drinking water and sanitation, and common childhood illnesses were not. In this setting, the carriage of antibiotic-resistant E. coli was common. Other than recent antibiotic exposure and high income, individual risk factors for the acquisition and carriage of resistance could not be identified, suggesting that population-level interventions are needed.

[Available on 2020-05-01]

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