Prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of bacterial pathogens isolated from outpatients with Upper respiratory tract infections in Kitui District Hospital, Kenya
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Respiratory tract infections, such as pharyngitis, laryngitis, common cold, sinusitis and tonsillitis are the most frequently occurring infections of all human diseases. Since these infections often seem minor, they are more commonly discounted as temporary inconveniences that cause transient discomfort. However, limited information has been documented in Kenya in relation to occurence and prevalence of the etiological agents causing upper respiratory tract infections. Therefore, this study was aimed at determining the prevalence of bacterial agents causing upper respiratory tract infections and their susceptibility patterns to commonly used antibiotics among outpatients in Kitui district hospital. The objectives of this study were; To determine the prevalence of upper respiratory tract infections in patients 'of different age groups and sexes, to isolate, identify and assess the distribution of bacterial pathogens associated with upper respiratory tract infections, to determine the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria of the upper respiratory in different age groups and sexes and to determine antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of the isolated bacterial pathogens. A total of 237 throat swabs were collected during the period between November, 2012 to April, 2013 and innoculated onto Blood agar, MacCkonkey agar and Chocolate agar then incubated at 37°C for 24 hours. Colony morphology and standard biochemical tests; Gram staining, catalase test, coagulase test, Mannitol fermentation test, bacitracin sensitivity test, bile solubility, hippurates test, optochin sensitivity test and germ tube test were performed for identification and confirmation of the isolates based on their Gram staining and cultural characteristics. Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion technique was used to determine antimicrobial sensitivity patterns of the bacteria to antibiotics. P values of::; 0.05 were consindered to have clinical and epidemiological significance. The sample consisted of 36.7 % males and 63.3 % females. The age between I and 5 years was a risk factor for these infections with clinical and epidemiological significance. Bacteria isolated were S. aureus (44.3 %), viridans group streptococci (32.5 %), S. pyogenes (13.5 %) and 5 % were mixed cultures involving C. albicans and either viridans group streptococci or S. aureus. Resistance of bacterial pathogens to at least one antibiotic in Kitui district hospital was; viridans group streptococci (48.2 %), S. aureus (40.5 %), S.pyogenes (28.1 %) and there were no cases of multi-drug resistance. S. aureus was the most prevalent isolate. Proper interventions should therefore be put in place to prevent young people from contracting and transmitting upper respiratory tract infections.