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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


CRICHTON, H et al. Neonatal and paediatric bloodstream infections: Pathogens, antimicrobial resistance patterns and prescribing practice at Khayelitsha District Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2018, vol.108, n.2, pp.99-104. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: The epidemiology of neonatal and paediatric community-acquired and healthcare-associated bloodstream infections (BSI) at South African (SA) district hospitals is under-researched. OBJECTIVE: Retrospective review of neonatal and paediatric BSI (0 - 13 years) at Khayelitsha District Hospital, Cape Town, SA, over 3 years (1 March 2012 - 28 February 2015). METHODS: We used laboratory, hospital, patient and prescription data to determine BSI rates, blood culture yield and contamination rates, pathogen profile, antimicrobial resistance, patient demographics, BSI outcome and antibiotic prescribing practice. RESULTS: From 7 427 blood cultures submitted, the pathogen yield was low (2.1%, 156/7 427) while blood culture contamination rates were high (10.5%, 782/7 427). Paediatric and neonatal BSI rates were 4.5 and 1.4/1 000 patient days, respectively. Gram-positive BSI predominated (59.3%); Staphylococcus aureus (26.8%) and Escherichia coli (21.6%) were common pathogens. The median patient age was 3 months, with a predominance of males (57.7%) and a 12.8% prevalence of HIV infection. Crude BSI-associated mortality was 7.1% (11/156), the death rate being higher in neonates than in infants and children (6/40 (15.0%) v. 5/116 (4.3%), respectively; p=0.03) and in patients with Gram-negative compared with Gram-positive bacteraemia (6/66 (9.1%) v. 5/89 (5.6%), respectively; p=0.5). Most BSI episodes were community-acquired (138/156; 88.5%), with high levels of extended-spectrum P-lactamase (ESBL) carriage among Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli isolates (5/5 (100%) and 8/33 (24.2%), respectively). Antimicrobial management of BSI was inappropriate in 30.6% of cases (45/147), including incorrect empirical antibiotic (46.7%), dual antibiotic cover (33.3%) and inappropriately broad-spectrum antibiotic use (17.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens (notably ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae) were common in community-acquired BSI. Paediatric clinicians at district hospitals require ongoing training in antibiotic stewardship and blood culture sampling.

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