n South African Medical Journal - A prospective observational study of bacteraemia in adults admitted to an urban Mozambican hospital : research

Volume 105, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Bacteraemia is a common cause of fever among patients presenting to hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa. The worldwide rise of antibiotic resistance makes empirical therapy increasingly difficult, especially in resource-limited settings.

To describe the incidence of bacteraemia in febrile adults presenting to Maputo Central Hospital (MCH), an urban referral hospital in the capital of Mozambique, and characterise the causative organisms and antibiotic susceptibilities. We aimed to describe the antibiotic prescribing habits of local doctors, to identify areas for quality improvement.
Inclusion criteria were: () ≥18 years of age; () axillary temperature ≥38°C or ≤35°C; () admission to MCH medical wards in the past 24 hours; and () no receipt of antibiotics as an inpatient. Blood cultures were drawn from enrolled patients and incubated using the BacT/Alert automated system (bioMerieux, France). Antibiotic susceptibilities were tested using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method.
Of the 841 patients enrolled, 63 (7.5%) had a bloodstream infection. The most common isolates were , , and non-typhoidal . Antibiotic resistance was common, with 20/59 (33.9%) of all bacterial isolates showing resistance to ceftriaxone, the broadest-spectrum antibiotic commonly available at MCH. Receipt of insufficiently broad empirical antibiotics was associated with poor in-hospital outcomes (odds ratio 8.05; 95% confidence interval 1.62 - 39.91; =0.04).
This study highlights several opportunities for quality improvement, including educating doctors to have a higher index of suspicion for bacteraemia, improving local antibiotic guidelines, improving communication between laboratory and doctors, and increasing the supply of some key antibiotics.

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