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Congenital and neonatal malaria in a rural Kenyan district hospital: an eight-year analysis

BACKGROUND: Malaria remains a significant burden in sub-Saharan Africa. However, data on burden of congenital and neonatal malaria is scarce and contradictory, with some recent studies reporting a high burden. Using prospectively collected data on neonatal admissions to a rural district hospital in a region of stable malaria endemicity in Kenya, the prevalence of congenital and neonatal malaria was described. METHODS: From 1st January 2002 to 31st December 2009, admission and discharge information on all neonates admitted to Kilifi District Hospital was collected. At admission, blood was also drawn for routine investigations, which included a full blood count, blood culture and blood slide for malaria parasites. RESULTS: Of the 5,114 neonates admitted during the eight-year surveillance period, blood slide for malaria parasites was performed in 4,790 (93.7%). 18 (0.35%) neonates with Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasitaemia, of whom 11 were admitted within the first week of life and thus classified as congenital parasitaemia, were identified. 7/18 (39%) had fever. Parasite densities were low, Read More

Invasive bacterial infections in neonates and young infants born outside hospital admitted to a rural hospital in Kenya

BACKGROUND: Bacterial sepsis is thought to be a major cause of young infant deaths in low-income countries, but there are few precise estimates of its burden or causes. We studied invasive bacterial infections (IBIs) in young infants, born at home or in first-level health units ("outborn") who were admitted to a Kenyan rural district hospital during an 8-year period. METHODS: Clinical and microbiologic data, from admission blood cultures and cerebrospinal fluid cultures on all outborn infants aged less than 60 days admitted from 2001 to 2009, were examined to determine etiology of IBI and antimicrobial susceptibilities. RESULTS: Of the 4467 outborn young infants admitted, 748 (17%) died. Five hundred five (11%) had IBI (10% bacteremia and 3% bacterial meningitis), with a case fatality of 33%. The commonest organisms were Klebsiella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Group B Streptococcus, Acinetobacter spp., Escherichia coli, and Group A Streptococcus. Notably, some blood culture isolates were seen in outborn neonates in the first week of life but not in inborns: Salmonella, Aeromonas, and Vibrio spp. Eighty-one percent of isolates were susceptible to penicillin and/or gentamicin and 84% to ampicillin and/or gentamicin. There was a trend to increasing in vitro antimicrobial resistance to these combinations from 2008 but without a worse outcome. CONCLUSIONS: IBI is common in outborn young infants admitted to rural African hospitals with a high mortality. Presumptive antimicrobial use is justified for all young infants admitted to the hospital.
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The prognostic value of dipstick urinalysis in children admitted to hospital with severe malnutrition

BACKGROUND: Children with severe malnutrition (SAM) present to hospital with an array of complications, resulting in high mortality despite adherence to WHO guidelines. Diagnostic resources in developing countries are limited and bedside tests could help identify high-risk children. Dipstick urinalysis is a bedside screening test for urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are common in SAM and can lead to secondary invasive bacterial sepsis. Very few studies have examined the usefulness of dipstick screening of urine specimens in SAM and none has explored its prognostic value. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A 2-year prospective study on children admitted in Kilifi District Hospital, Kenya, with SAM. Freshly voided, clean catch urine samples were tested using Multistix reagent test strips. Positive samples were sent for culture. RESULTS: Of the 667 children admitted, 498 children (75%) provided urine samples; of these, 119 (24%) were positive for either leucocyte esterase (LE) or nitrites. Culture-proven UTI was detected in 28 children (6% overall). All isolates were coliforms and were >50% were resistant to cotrimoxazole and gentamicin. There was no difference in severity signs between those with positive dipstick and those without. Case fatality was higher among children with a positive dipstick (29% vs 12%). Presence of a positive dipstick was a strong predictor of mortality (adjusted HR 2.5). CONCLUSIONS: A urine dipstick positive for either LE or nitrites is a useful predictor of death in children admitted with SAM. Prospective studies to determine the role of untreated UTI in these deaths are needed before any treatment recommendations can be made.
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