Prevalence of enteric infections among hospitalized patients in two referral hospitals in Ghana
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Prevalence of enteric infections among hospitalized patients in two referral hospitals in Ghana

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    Diarrhea is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Africa and Ghana in particular, it is estimated to contribute directly to 19 and 25% of pediatric mortality among children under 5 years, respectively.


    Surveillance for hospitalized acute diarrheal illness was initiated in November 2010 through October 2012 in a referral hospital in southern Ghana, and a teaching hospital in northern Ghana. Consenting hospitalized patients who met a standardized case definition for acute diarrheal illness provided demographic and epidemiologic data. Stool samples were collected and tested by culture for bacteria and by enzyme immunoassays for a panel of viruses and parasites.


    A total of 429 patients were enrolled; 216 (50.3%) were under 5 years, and 221 (51.5%) were females. Stool samples were received from 153 patients. Culture isolates included Shigella sp., Salmonella spp., Plesiomonas sp. and Vibrio cholerae. Of 147 samples tested for viruses, 41 (27.9%) were positive for rotaviruses, 11 (7.5%) for astroviruses, 10 (6.8%) for noroviruses, and 8 (5.4%) for adenoviruses. Of 116 samples tested for parasitic infections; 4 (3.4%) were positive for Cryptosporidium sp. and 3 (2.6%) for Giardia lamblia. Of the enrolled patients, 78.8% had taken antibiotics prior to sample collection.


    Diarrheal pathogens were identified across all ages, however, predominantly (81%) in the children under 5 years of age. This study also detected high antibiotic use which has the potential of increasing antibiotic resistance. The most common enteric pathogen detected (49.4%) was rotavirus.

    Electronic supplementary material

    The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13104-017-2621-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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