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Prevalence of acute respiratory bacterial pathogens in children in Gondar

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A study was conducted in Gondar, North-Western Ethiopia, during 1997-1998 to determine the prevalence of bacterial etiologic agents of acute respiratory infection (ARI) in children. A total of 390 subjects were studied out of which 63% were cases from Gondar Hospital and Gondar Health Center and the rest (37%) were controls from different schools and kindergartens in Gondar Town. From each case and control throat and nasopharyngeal specimens were collected, and cultured and biochemical tests done to isolate the bacterial etiologic agents of the disease. Clinical findings, such as cough, raised respiratory rate, difficult breathing, and fever were correlated with laboratory findings. S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae type b were the dominant isolated pathogens in both throat and nasopharyngeal specimens obtained from 71% and 68% of the cases and 5% and 1% of the controls, respectively. About 20% of the cases had diarrhea as concurrent illness. Even though different bacteria are known to cause ARI, S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae type b were found to be the dominant etiologic agents of acute respiratory infection. This paper discusses the association of bacteria isolated with acute respiratory infection in children in Gondar. (Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 2000, 14(2): 191-197)


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