Prevalence of Bacterial Respiratory Infections and Antimicrobial Susceptibilty Profile among Outpatients in Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital, Meru County, Kenya
Miriti, Dinah Muthoni
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Respiratory tracts infections cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Recent reports revealed that 10% of the world’s burden due to mortality and morbidity are as a result of respiratory tract infections with an estimate of 10 million deaths annually. These infections are categorized as upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are the commonest illness experienced at all ages while lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are the major cause of hospital admission. The main pathogens that are considered as the etiological agents of respiratory infections are bacteria and viruses. However, bacterial pathogens have become resistance to the frequently used antimicrobial agents. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, risk factors of bacterial respiratory tract infections and antimicrobial susceptibility profile of the isolates. In this study, 175 patients were enrolled randomly from Meru teaching and referral hospital. Sputum and throat swab samples were collected and cultured on the appropriate bacteriological media. Out of the 175 samples (sputum 125 and throat swab 50 samples) only 58 sputum and 23 throat swab samples showed significant growth of bacterial isolates. Bacterial isolates were identified using standard biochemical tests. From the 81 positive cases, the bacterial isolates obtained were Pseudomonas species 25 (30.9 %), Staphylococcus aureus 18 (22.2 %), Klebsiella species 16 (19.8 %), Streptococcus pyogenes 12 (14.8%) and Streptococcus pneumoniae 10 (12.3 %). From this study, men were significantly affected (p<0.0001). The most affected age group was 25-34 years followed by 35-44 years. From the findings, the prevalence of bacterial respiratory infections among outpatients in Meru teaching and referral hospital was 46.3 %. The age, male gender, patient’s occupation, overcrowding, cigarettes smoke and previous history of RTIs were the risk factors to RTIs at the Meru teaching and referral hospital. The antimicrobial susceptibility pattern showed that the isolates obtained were resistant to amoxicillin and ampicillin while cefuroxime, gentamicin and amikacin were more effective in treatment of respiratory tract infections. Further 66.7 % of the bacterial isolates were resistant to >2 antibiotics limiting treatment of RTIs with routinely used antibiotics. Recommendations emanating from this study are that there is need for proper diagnosis of bacterial respiratory infections based on antibiotic susceptibility testing so as to reduce development of resistant bacteria in Meru teaching and referral hospital. In addition, there is need for further studies to identify other types of microorganisms such as viruses and fungi that cause respiratory infections and their interactions with bacterial pathogens.