Typhoid is routinely diagnosed in Nigeria on clinical grounds or based on Widal serological test result. This approach does not provide information on the antibiotic susceptibility of the bacterium; Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi. This study was done to assess the antimicrobial susceptibility profile of Salmonella isolates in Umuahia. In this study, seventy-two (72) Salmonella isolates obtained from 135 fecal specimens were tested for their antibiotic susceptibility profile against 13 antimicrobial agents using the disk diffusion method according to the protocol of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Sixty-two (86.1%) of the isolates were resistant to Amoxicillin, fifty-two (72.2%) to Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Co-trimoxazole), forty-one (56.9%) to Chloramphenicol and fifty-two (72.2%) to Augmentin. Fifty-nine (81.9%) of the isolates were resistant to Tetracycline, 11(15.2%) were of intermediate susceptibility and only two (2.7%) were susceptible to the antibiotic. Thirty-five (48.6%) of the isolates were sensitive to Ciprofloxacin, forty-seven (65.2%) to ofloxacin and forty-three (59.7%) to gentamicin. the resistance profile of the isolates to cephalosporin antibiotics was as follows: cefuroxime (70.8%), ceftriaxone (68.0%) and ceftazidime (65.2%). Some of the isolates exhibited resistance to multiple antibiotics ranging from three or more of the antibacterial agents tested. The results obtained suggest that high proportion of S. Typhi strains circulating in the study area are resistant to multiple antibiotics and empirical treatment of typhoid fever without antibiotic susceptibility testing is not advisable in this setting.
Key words: Salmonella typhi, antimicrobial resistance, typhoid fever, antibiotic susceptibility profile, Umuahia
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