Viral and bacterial etiology of severe acute respiratory illness among children < 5 years of age without influenza in Niger
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Viral and bacterial etiology of severe acute respiratory illness among children < 5 years of age without influenza in Niger

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    BMC Infect Dis
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    Globally, pneumonia is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children, with the highest burden experienced in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. However, there is a dearth of information on the etiology of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) in Africa, including Niger.


    We implemented a retrospective study as part of national influenza sentinel surveillance in Niger. We randomly selected a sample of nasopharyngeal specimens collected from children <5 years of age hospitalized with SARI from January 2010 through December 2012 in Niger. The samples were selected from individuals that tested negative by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) for influenza A and B virus. The samples were analyzed using the Fast Track Diagnostic Respiratory Pathogens 21plus Kit (BioMérieux, Luxemburg), which detects 23 respiratory pathogens including 18 viral and 5 bacterial agents.


    Among the 160 samples tested, 138 (86 %) tested positive for at least one viral or bacterial pathogen; in 22 (16 %) sample, only one pathogen was detected. We detected at least one respiratory virus in 126 (78 %) samples and at least one bacterium in 102 (64 %) samples. Respiratory syncytial virus (56/160; 35 %), rhinovirus (47/160; 29 %) and parainfluenza virus (39/160; 24 %) were the most common viral pathogens detected. Among bacterial pathogens, Streptococcus pneumoniae (90/160; 56 %) and Haemophilus influenzae type b (20/160; 12 %) predominated.


    The high prevalence of certain viral and bacterial pathogens among children <5 years of age with SARI highlights the need for continued and expanded surveillance in Niger.

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