Thame, Minerva M.; Stephen, C. A.; Wilks, Rainford J.; Forrester, Terrence E.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Medicine Research Institute
The appropriateness of the current antibiotic empiric therapy based on the bacteria isolated from severely malnourished Jamaican children
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
We performed a retrospective audit of antimicrobial sensitivities of bacteria isolated from children admitted with a diagnosis of malnutrition to the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit (TMRU), University of the West Indies, between January 1995 and December 1999. There were 150 admissions for severe malnutrition to the TMRU during this period, which was approximately 50% fewer than in a previous TMRU study done ten years ago, between 1984 and 1989. In the present study, bacteraemia was documented in 10% of 150 severely malnourished children between 1 and 31 months of age. The most common organisms isolated were coagulase-negative Staphylococci, which represented 40% of the total isolates. The micro-organisms grown were most likely to be sensitive to amoxycillin/clavulanic acid. The current TMRU treatment protocol for severe malnutrition recommends use of crystalline penicillin plus gentamicin as empirical antibiotic therapy. This study has provided valuable information suggesting that the current empiric antibiotic therapy may be inappropriate.....