Susceptibility pattern of Salmonella enterica against commonly prescribed antibiotics, to febrile-pediatric cases, in low-income countries


Priyatam KhadkaJanuka ThapaliyaShovana Thapa 


Background: In most low-income countries, febrile-pediatric-cases are often treated empirically with accessible antibiotics without periodic epidemiological surveillance, susceptibility testing, or minimal lethal dose calculations. With this backdrop, the study was undertaken to evaluate the susceptibility trend of Salmonella enterica against the commonly prescribed antibiotics.

Methods: All isolates of Salmonella enterica were identified by standard protocols of biotyping and serotyping, then tested against antibiotics by the modified Kirby disk-diffusion method. Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of isolates was determined by the agar-dilution method and compared with disk diffusion results and on nalidixic-acid sensitive/resistant strains.

Results: Among 1815 febrile-pediatric patients, 90(4.9%) isolates of Salmonella enterica [serovar: Salmonella Typhi 62(68.8%) and Salmonella Paratyphi A 28(31.1%)] were recovered. The incidence of infection was higher among males, age groups 5 to 9, and patients enrolling in the out-patient department (OPD). On the disk-diffusion test, most isolates were sensitive against first-line drugs i.e.cephalosporins, and macrolides. However, against quinolones, a huge percentile 93.3%, of isolates were resistant [including 58 Typhiand 26 Paratyphiserovar] while nearly 14% were resistant against fluoroquinolones. When MICs breakpoint were adjusted as follows: 4 μg/ml for azithromycin, ≥1 μg/ml for ciprofloxacin, 2 μg/ml for ofloxacin, 8 μg/ml for nalidixic acid, and 1 μg/ml for cefixime, higher sensitivity and specificity achieved. Compared to other tested antibiotics, a low rate of azithromycin resistance was observed. Nevertheless, higher resistance against fluoroquinolones was observed on NARS strain.

Conclusion: Higher susceptibility of Salmonella enterica to the conventional anti-typhoidal drugs (amoxicillin, chloramphenicol, cotrimoxazole, cephotaxime) advocates for its reconsideration. Although, the lower susceptibility against fluoroquinolones among nalidixic-acid-resistant Salmonella (NARS) strain negates its empirical use among the study age group.

Click here to read the article, published in BMC Pediatrics.