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Open Access Research article

Epidemiological, clinical features and susceptibility pattern of shigellosis in the buea health district, Cameroon

Anna L Njunda1, Jules CN Assob2*, Dickson S Nsagha3, Henri LF Kamga1, Maghah P Awafong1 and Elroy P Weledji4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, P.O.Box 63, Buea, Cameroon

2 Medicine Programme, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences Laboratory, University of Buea, P.O.Box 63, Buea, Cameroon

3 Department of Public Health and Hygiene, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, P.O.Box 63, Buea, Cameroon

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, P.O.Box 63, Buea, Cameroon

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:54  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-54

Published: 21 January 2012

Abstract

Background

Shigellosis is an acute invasive enteric infection caused by bacteria belonging to the genus Shigella; it is clinically manifested by bloody diarrhoea. Shigellosis is endemic in many developing countries including Cameroon and also occurs in epidemics causing considerable morbidity and mortality. This study evaluated the epidemiological and clinical features of Shigella and the resistance pattern of isolates to commonly used antibiotics in the Buea Health District in Cameroon, from April to August, 2010.

Results

Of the 223 stool samples cultured, 10 (4.5%) yielded Shigella species. Isolation rate was observed to be more in children below 15 years (7.89%), and also higher in rural areas (6.35%). All 10 isolates showed resistance to at least two antibiotics and 9 (90%) were multi-drug resistant. The highest resistance rates were encountered with cotrimoxazole (90%) and amoxicillin (80%). Least resistance was observed with azithromycin (10%).

Conclusion

Shigellosis is more prevalent in children below 15 years in the Buea District. There is a high level of resistance to most of the antibiotics used for the treatment of shigellosis including extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) as well as evidence of resistance to quinolones. Azithromycin was found to be the drug of choice for shigellosis in this setting.

Keywords:
Shigellosis; Epidemiology; Clinical features; Antibiotics; Susceptibility pattern; Cameroon