Seasonal variation in the etiology of bloodstream infections in a febrile inpatient population in a developing country.
OBJECTIVES: Published data suggest that Streptococcus pneumoniae, non-typhi Salmonella species, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis are the predominant causes of bloodstream infection (BSI) in hospitalized populations in sub-Saharan Africa. This study was conducted during the wet season to ascertain the etiology and prevalence of BSI among febrile inpatients in a hospital where the dry season BSI profile in a similar study population had already been documented. METHODS: In the period from March to May 1998, consecutive febrile (> or = 37.5 degrees C) adult (> or = 14 y) patients presenting to a Malawi hospital were enrolled after providing informed consent. Following clinical evaluation, blood was drawn for culture (bacteria, mycobacteria, and fungi), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, and malaria smears. RESULTS: Of 238 enrolled patients, 173 (73%) were HIV-positive and 67 (28%) had BSI. The predominant wet season BSI pathogens were non-typhi Salmonella species (41%), M. tuberculosis (19%), and Cryptococcus neoformans (9%) (cf. the predominant dry season pathogen was S. pneumoniae). Mycobacteremia was more likely in HIV-positive than in HIV-negative patients (13/173 vs. 0/65; P < 0.05). A logistic regression model yielded clinical predictors of BSI that included chronic fever, oral candidiasis, or acute diarrhea. CONCLUSION: Pathogens causing BSI in febrile inpatients in a Malawi teaching hospital vary by season. Season- and country-specific studies, such as this one, provide data that may facilitate empirical therapy of febrile illnesses whose etiologies vary by season.
Bell, M; Archibald, LK; Nwanyanwu, O; Dobbie, H; Tokars, J; Kazembe, PN; Reller, LB; Jarvis, WR
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