Diarrhoea, a major contributor to high mortality in children may be caused by an array of bacterial, viral or parasitic pathogens acting individually or synergistically. This study identified the bacterial pathogens associated with diarrhoea in children aged 0-24 months, established the frequency of diarrhoea caused by each pathogen encountered in diarrhoea and determined the antibiotic resistance pattern of the children's faecal isolates obtained to some commonly used antibiotics in the study environment. A total of 107 children within the age range 0-24 months presenting with diarrhoea and 115 apparently healthy children were recruited into this study. Stool samples or rectal swabs were collected and cultured using standard microbiological procedures. Recovered isolates were tested against commonly used antibiotics using disc diffusion method. The isolation of enteric pathogens was found to be significantly (p<0.0001) higher among diarrhoeal children. Campylobacter spp. was the most frequently isolated enteric pathogen among diarrhoeal (17.8%) and apparently healthy (16.5%) children. There was no significant (p > 0.05) difference in the isolates recovered from both diarrhoeal and control subjects. The isolates were found to be multiply resistant to all the antibiotics tested. However, the incidence of resistance to commonly-used antibiotics was found to be less than 50%.
Key words: Diarrhoea, children, bacterial pathogens, antibiotic resistance, Ile-Ife.
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