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      Throat Swab Culture Positivity and Antibiotic Resistance Profiles in Children 2–5 Years of Age Suspected of Bacterial Tonsillitis at Hargeisa Group of Hospitals, Somaliland: A Cross-Sectional Study


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          Tonsillitis is the third most frequently diagnosed infection in the pediatric age and is associated with significant morbidity and loss of school attendance. Throat swab cultures are useful for the confirmation of children with a clinically suspected tonsillitis. However, Somaliland is one of the underdeveloped countries with a low standard of sanitation and poor health seeking culture. Treatment of tonsillitis with antibiotics is irrational and not empirical. This study determined the bacterial throat swab culture positivity and antibiotic resistance profiles of the bacterial isolates among children 2–5 years of age with suspicion of tonsillitis at Hargeisa Group of Hospital, Somaliland.

          Materials and Methods

          A cross-sectional study was conducted from March to July 2020. A total of 374 children from 2 to 5 years of age suspicion of tonsillitis was included using a convenient sampling method. Throat swabs were collected, and bacterial isolation and identification were done using standard bacteriological procedures. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was done using the disk diffusion method. Data on demographic variables and clinical profiles were collected using structured questionnaires. Logistic regression analysis was computed to identify factors associated with bacterial tonsillitis.


          Overall, 120 (32.1%) (95% CI 27.4–36.8%) of children were positive for bacterial throat cultures. Of these, 23 (19.2%) were mixed bacterial isolates. The most frequent bacterial isolates were beta-hemolytic streptococci 78 (55%), Staphylococcus aureus 42 (29%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae 10 (7%). Isolates revealed 83.3–100% rate of resistance to ampicillin. Beta-hemolytic streptococci isolates were 94.9% resistant to ampicillin. S. aureus was resistant to clarithromycin (38%) while S. pneumoniae isolates were 100% resistant to ampicillin. History of tonsillitis (AOR = 0.12; 95% CI = 0.06–0.21), difficulty in swallowing (AOR = 6.99; 95% CI = 3.56–13.73), and attending schools (AOR = 2.98; 95% CI = 1.64–5.42) were found to be associated with positive throat culture.


          Resistance to ampicillin and MDR among beta-hemolytic streptococci and other isolates of throat colonizers in children with clinically suspected of bacterial tonsillitis are major concerns in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Therefore, treatments of cases are recommended to be guided by regular culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing to prevent complications of tonsillitis and associated antibiotic resistance.

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          Most cited references58

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          Prevalence of antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli: overview of geographical, temporal, and methodological variations.

          The increase in bacterial antibiotic resistance is of major concern worldwide, but pertinent epidemiologic studies have used strongly divergent approaches and are widely scattered in the literature. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of studies reporting on the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli in different parts of the world. Studies published from 1970 to 2006 on the prevalence of E. coli resistance were identified by a systematic Medline research and reviewed with respect to characteristics of the study design and study population, the method of resistance detection, and the prevalence of resistance. The prevalence of resistance to specific antibiotics was highly variable in different populations and in different countries and ranged from 0 to 100%. The prevalence of resistance reported in studies from Middle and South America, Spain, and Turkey was higher than that reported in the USA and Central Europe. Moreover, a tendency towards higher prevalence rates of resistance in recent years was observed. The findings indicate a need for regular monitoring of antimicrobial susceptibility rates in different human and animal populations by standardized sampling and measurement procedures. Such monitoring would help identify relevant factors that contribute to the spread of resistant pathogens and would support the prudent use of antibiotics.
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            Intracellular Persisting Staphylococcus aureus Is the Major Pathogen in Recurrent Tonsillitis

            Background The two major indications for tonsillectomy are recurrent tonsillitis (RT) and peritonsillar abscess (PTA). Unlike PTAs, which are primarily treated surgically, RT is often cured by tonsillectomy only after a series of failed drug therapy attempts. Although the bacteriological background of RT has been studied, the reason for the lack of success of conservative therapeutic approaches is not well understood. Methods In a prospective study, tonsil specimens from 130 RT patients and 124 PTA patients were examined for the presence of extra- and intracellular bacteria using antibiotic protection assays. Staphylococcus aureus isolates from RT patients were characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), spa-typing and MSCRAMM-gene-PCR. Their ability for biofilm formation was tested and their cell invasiveness was confirmed by a flow cytometric invasion assay (FACS), fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry. Findings S. aureus was the predominant species (57.7%) in RT patients, whereas Streptococcus pyogenes was most prevalent (20.2%) in PTA patients. Three different assays (FACS, FISH, antibiotic protection assay) showed that nearly all RT-associated S. aureus strains were located inside tonsillar cells. Correspondingly, the results of the MSCRAMM-gene-PCRs confirmed that 87% of these S. aureus isolates were invasive strains and not mere colonizers. Based upon PFGE analyses of genomic DNA and on spa-gene typing the vast majority of the S. aureus isolates belonged to different clonal lineages. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that intracellular residing S. aureus is the most common cause of RT and indicate that S. aureus uses this location to survive the effects of antibiotics and the host immune response. A German translation of the Abstract is provided as supplementary material (Abstract S1).
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              Increased Nasopharyngeal Density and Concurrent Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis Are Associated with Pneumonia in Febrile Children

              Background We assessed nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage of five pathogens in febrile children with and without acute respiratory infection (ARI) of the upper (URTI) or lower tract, attending health facilities in Tanzania. Methods NP swabs collected from children (N = 960) aged 2 months to 10 years, and with a temperature ≥38°C, were utilized to quantify bacterial density of S. pneumoniae (Sp), H. influenzae (Hi), M. catarrhalis (Mc), S. aureus (Sa), and N. meningitidis (Nm). We determined associations between presence of individual species, densities, or concurrent carriage of all species combination with respiratory diseases including clinical pneumonia, pneumonia with normal chest radiography (CXR) and endpoint pneumonia. Results Individual carriage, and NP density, of Sp, Hi, or Mc, but not Sa, or Nm, was significantly associated with febrile ARI and clinical pneumonia when compared to febrile non-ARI episodes. Density was also significantly increased in severe pneumonia when compared to mild URTI (Sp, p<0.002; Hi p<0.001; Mc, p = 0.014). Accordingly, concurrent carriage of Sp + , Hi + , and Mc + , in the absence of Sa - and Nm - , was significantly more prevalent in children with ARI (p = 0.03), or clinical pneumonia (p<0.001) than non-ARI, and in children with clinical pneumonia (p = 0.0007) than URTI. Furthermore, Sp + , Hi + , and Mc + differentiated children with pneumonia with normal CXR, or endpoint pneumonia, from those with URTI, and non-ARI cases. Conclusions Concurrent NP carriage of Sp, Hi, and Mc was a predictor of clinical pneumonia and identified children with pneumonia with normal CXR and endpoint pneumonia from those with febrile URTI, or non-ARI episodes.

                Author and article information

                Int J Microbiol
                Int J Microbiol
                International Journal of Microbiology
                5 April 2023
                : 2023
                : 6474952
                1Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
                2Department of Biology, Science College, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
                3Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Laboratory of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Masoumeh Navidinia

                Author information
                Copyright © 2023 Hamda Hussein Darod et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 20 April 2022
                : 11 December 2022
                : 17 March 2023
                Funded by: Bahir Dar University
                Research Article

                Microbiology & Virology
                Microbiology & Virology


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