African Health Sciences

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Pattern and microbiological characteristics of diabetic foot ulcers in a Nigerian tertiary hospital

Obumneme Anyim, Christian Okafor, Ekenechukwu Young, Ijeoma Obumneme-Anyim, Chidimma Nwatu


Purpose: To determine the pattern and bacteriological characteristics of diabetic foot ulcers in patients attending a tertiary health care facility.

Method: 160 Patients with Diabetes Mellitus foot syndrome were recruited, out of which 52 had diabetic foot ulcers. Relevant clinical, biochemical, and microbiological evaluations were carried out on the subjects. Data analysis was done using SPSS ver- sion 20. p value was set at <0.05.

Results: 52 (32.5%) out of 160 subjects with Diabetes Mellitus Foot Syndrome (DMFS) had diabetic foot ulcers. Poor glycaemic control (mean HbA1c = 9.2 (2.7) %), and abuse of antibiotics (76.9%) characterized the subjects. Foot ulcers mainly involved the right lower limb and followed spontaneous blister formation (50%). Microbiological culture pattern was polymicrobial (71.2%); predominantly anaerobic organisms (53.3%). Gram positive and negative aerobic isolates yielded high sensitivity to common quinolones (76% - 87.8%). The gram positive and negative anaerobic isolates were highly sensitive to Clindamycin and Metroni- dazole respectively (80.2% - 97.8%). High sensitivity (>80%) yield for gram negative anaerobes was recorded for Imipinem and Ampicillin/Sulbactam.

Conclusion: Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) contribute about one-third of DMFS. The bacteriological isolates from these ulcers are mainly polymicrobial with high sensitivity to common antibiotics. The need for appropriate use of antibiotics should be advocated among the patients.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, antibiotic sensitivity, Nigeria.
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