A study of the intestinal carriage of antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus by Nigerian children
Background: The gastrointestinal tract has been recognized as a major ecological site for Staphylococcus aureus where it can reach neighboring sites and cause mild or serious infections.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of intestinal carriage of S. aureus in children aged 3 years and below in Ile-Ife, Nigeria and the antibiotic resistance characteristics of the organisms obtained.
Methods: The organisms isolated in the course of the study were identified by phenotypic and genotypic methods and screened against 13 antibiotics by conventional methods. A total of 293 subjects were sampled of which 130 were diagnosed with diarrheal at the time of the study while the rest were apparently healthy.
Results: 14.0% of the faecal samples yielded S. aureus with the carriage rate among the subjects being found to be highest at about 1 month approximately in subjected ages. Sixty-five percent of the isolates were found to be resistant to more than three different antibiotics with more than 50% being resistant to penicillin, erythromycin and trimethoprim.
Conclusions: The results of the study indicated that a reservoir of multiply antibiotic resistant S. aureus exists in the gastrointestinal tracts of children living within the study environment.
Keywords: S. aureus, faecal carriage, oxacillin resistance, antibiotic resistance, children, Nigeria.