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Detection, Risk Factors and Antibiogram of Shigella dysenteriae and Shigella flexneri in Young Children with Acute Gastroenteritis in Uyo Metropolis, Nigeria

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Shigella plays an important role as causative agent of acute gastroenteritis, especially in developing countries. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of shigellosis, antibiogram and predisposing factors in children aged five years and below having acute gastroenteritis in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study involving 250 young children with acute gastroenteritis seen at the paediatric unit of University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo; St. Luke’s Hospital, Anua and Nedeke Children’s Hospital, Uyo from October 2018 to March 2019. Fresh stool samples were collected using a clean universal container and cultured using MacConkey and Deoxycholate citrate agar. Biochemical identification and serotyping using polyvalent antisera were conducted. Shigella were detected in 8(3.2%) of the children’s stool samples. Shigella species identified were S.dysenteriae, 4(2.4%) and S.flexneri, 2(0.8%). Majority of the children with shigellosis were males, 6(4.6%), and children aged 13-24 months had the highest prevalence of the infection, 3(4.7%). St. Luke’s Hospital, Anua had the highest number of infection, 4(8.0%) and overall Shigella infection. Children whose parents/caregivers mostly used sachet water, 4(10.3%) and borehole water, 2(4.3%) for drinking were significantly affected with shigellosis (p=0.006). Findings revealed that shigella remains one of the bacterial pathogens causing acute gastroenteritis among children in Uyo with S.dysenteriae as the predominant species. All the shigella isolates exhibited multi-drug resistance and ingestion of contaminated water was a risk factor. These findings are of immense public health concern.

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