Journal of Medical Laboratory Science

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Bacteriology of Osteomyelitis at Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

E I Ikeh, O M Oyawolo, C Nwadiaro


This bacteriological study of osteomyelitis in our hospital was done with a view to reducing the morbidity rates associated with this disease. Clinical specimens were collected from 60 clinically diagnosed patients. The wound swabs and pus samples were inoculated onto blood agar, chocolate agar and MacConkey agar plates, while blood cultures were set up using Brain heart infusion and Thioglycollate broths. Direct Gram-stained smears were examined microscopically. The bacterial isolates were subjected to antibiotic susceptibility tests using the disc diffusion method. The prevalence of the culture-positive osteomyelitis was 70%, with the 11 – 20 year age group having the highest prevalence of 42.9%. There was no significant difference in the prevalence in relation to gender. All the blood cultures remained sterile after 7 days incubation. Overall, 76.2% of the positive cultures were from wound swabs, followed by pus samples with 23.8%. Among the isolates, Staphylococcus aureus recorded the highest prevalence of 73.8%, followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa with 11.9%. Proteus spp., Klebsiella spp. and Escherichia coli recorded 7.1%, 4.8% and 2.4% respectively. Most of the isolates showed multiple resistance to the commonly prescribed antibiotics, except for ofloxacin that recorded 100% activity against all the isolates. Our results showed a very high rate of culture-positive osteomyelitis. Efforts should be made to start the treatment early based on culture-guided antibiotic therapy. In the absence of culture facilities, ofloxacin could be used for the empiric treatment of osteomyelitis in our community.

Keywords: Osteomyelitis, Bacteriology, Antibiotics, resistance

Journal of Medical Laboratory Science Vol. 13 (2) 2004: pp. 19-23
AJOL African Journals Online