Salmonella Bloodstream Infections in Hospitalized Children with Acute Febrile Illness—Uganda, 2016–2019

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  • 1 Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 2 Infectious Disease Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda;
  • 3 Child Health and Development Center, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda;
  • 4 Infectious Diseases Institute, Kampala, Uganda;
  • 5 Department of Microbiology, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda;
  • 6 Division of Vector-Borne Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado;
  • 7 Division of Global Health Protection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 8 Division of Parasitic Disease and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 9 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Invasive Salmonella infection is a common cause of acute febrile illness (AFI) among children in sub-Saharan Africa; however, diagnosing Salmonella bacteremia is challenging in settings without blood culture. The Uganda AFI surveillance system includes blood culture-based surveillance for etiologies of bloodstream infection (BSIs) in hospitalized febrile children in Uganda. We analyzed demographic, clinical, blood culture, and antimicrobial resistance data from hospitalized children at six sentinel AFI sites from July 2016 to January 2019. A total of 47,261 children were hospitalized. Median age was 2 years (interquartile range, 1–4) and 26,695 (57%) were male. Of 7,203 blood cultures, 242 (3%) yielded bacterial pathogens including Salmonella (N = 67, 28%), Staphylococcus aureus (N = 40, 17%), Escherichia spp. (N = 25, 10%), Enterococcus spp. (N = 18, 7%), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (N = 17, 7%). Children with BSIs had longer median length of hospitalization (5 days versus 4 days), and a higher case-fatality ratio (13% versus 2%) than children without BSI (all P < 0.001). Children with Salmonella BSIs did not differ significantly in length of hospitalization or mortality from children with BSI resulting from other organisms. Serotype and antimicrobial susceptibility results were available for 49 Salmonella isolates, including 35 (71%) non-typhoidal serotypes and 14 Salmonella serotype Typhi (Typhi). Among Typhi isolates, 10 (71%) were multi-drug resistant and 13 (93%) had decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility. Salmonella strains, particularly non-typhoidal serotypes and drug-resistant Typhi, were the most common cause of BSI. These data can inform regional Salmonella surveillance in East Africa and guide empiric therapy and prevention in Uganda.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Grace D. Appiah, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. E-mail: gappiah@cdc.gov

Financial support: The funding for this work was supported through a CDC cooperative agreement (no. 5NU2GGH001744-02-00).

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this manuscript do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CDC or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated.

Authors’ addresses: Grace D. Appiah, Molly Freeman, Zainab Salah, Porscha Bumpus White, Susan Van Dyne, Sunkyung Kim, Ana C. Lauer, and Eric Mintz, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: gappiah@cdc.gov, evy7@cdc.gov, pli1@cdc.gov, ofu1@cdc.gov, mdv9@cdc.gov, wox0@cdc.gov, ybp6@cdc.gov, and edm1@cdc.gov. Arthur Mpimbaza, Infectious Disease Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda, and Child Health and Development Center, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: arthurwakg@yahoo.com. Mohammed Lamorde, Infectious Diseases Institute, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: mlamorde@idi.co.ug. Henry Kajumbula, Department of Microbiology, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: henrykajumbula427@gmail.com. Kiersten Kugeler, Jeff Borchert, and Paul Mead, Division of Vector-Borne Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO, E-mails: bio1@cdc.gov, gqx1@cdc.gov, and pfm0@cdc.gov. Matt Mikoleit, Division of Global Health Protection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: euh1@cdc.gov. James Kapisi and Asadu Sserwanga, Infectious Disease Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda, E-mails: jkapisi@idrc-uganda.org and asadusserwanga@gmail.com. Alison Winstead, Division of Parasitic Disease and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: nrc0@cdc.gov. Yukari C. Manabe and Robert J. Flick, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, E-mails: ymanabe@jhmi.edu and rjf@jhmi.edu.

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