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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74-76

Susceptibility pattern of nasopharyngeal isolates of streptococcus pneumoniae among nursery school children in Enugu, Nigeria

1 Department of Medical Lab. Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
M E Ohanu
Dept of Medical Microbiology UNTH, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aims: To determine the rate of nasopharyngeal colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae among nursery school children in Enugu urban and to determine their antibiotic susceptibility pattern particularly the penicillin resistant strains. Methods: Specimens were collected from the nasopharynx of 385 apparently healthy children aged between 12 to 36months with cotton tipped flexible metal applicator. The swabs were immediately inoculated on to blood agar plates. The plates were incubated at 37°C for 24-48 hours under 5% carbon dioxide. Organisms were identified and confirmed as S. pneumoniae according to Facklam and Washington technique. Antibiogram was carried out with penicillin by the oxacillin disc diffusion method and also to erythromycin chloramphenicol and cephalosporin using Muellur -Hinton agar. Results: S. Pneumoniae was isolated from 64 (16.6%) children; 29% colonization rate observed in 141 malnourished children was significantly greater (p<0.05) than the rate of 9.5% from the 244 children that were well nourished. Nine (14%) of the 64 isolates of S. Pneumoniae were resistant to penicillin and 2 of these were also found to be resistant to erythromycin, chloramphenicol and cephalosporin. Conclusion: A good proportion of apparently healthy children in Enugu are nasopharyngeal carriers of beta -lactam drug resistant strains of S. Pneumoniae especially in the malnourished group and mainly in the age group 12-24 months. This observation calls for a careful re-evaluation of the management of infections due to this organism that hitherto was well managed with penicillin and related drugs. There is need for constant monitoring of the antibiotic sensitivity patterns of S. Pneumoniae strains from patients in this community.

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