Volume 93, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Bacteremia may be inappropriately treated as malaria in children admitted with a febrile illness in Africa. We determined the prevalence, clinical features, and spectrum of bacteremia among febrile children younger than 5 years of age admitted with a negative malaria test, but prescribed antimalarials at a referral hospital in Jinja, Uganda. After initial evaluation, a blood sample was drawn from 250 children for a complete blood count and bacterial culture. Of 250 samples cultured, 15 grew organisms presumed to be skin contaminants, and of the remaining 235 samples, 45 (19.1%) had bacteremia. (42%), non-typhoidal (24%), (11%), and (9%) were the most common bacterial isolates. On multivariate analysis, history of weight loss (odds ratio [OR] = 2.75; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.27–5.95), presence of pulmonary crackles (OR = 3.63; 95% CI = 1.40–9.45), and leukocytosis (OR = 2.21; 95% CI = 1.09–4.47) were independent predictors of bacteremia. At a referral hospital in Uganda, bacteremia was a remarkably common finding in children with febrile illness who were treated for malaria despite negative malaria test results.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 06 Aug 2014
  • Accepted : 16 Mar 2015
  • Published online : 05 Aug 2015

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