Prevalence of Yersinia enterocolitica Among Diarrhoeal Patients Attending University of Benin Teaching Hospital Benin City, Nigeria

  • AI Omoigberale Department of Child Health University of Benin Teaching Hospital, PMB 1111 Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
  • PO Abiodun Department of Child Health University of Benin Teaching Hospital, PMB 1111 Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of Yersinia enterocolitica among diarrhoeal patients attending University of Benin Teaching Hospital. Diarrhoeal is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria due to lack of clean portable water, and poor personal and environmental hygiene among majority of Nigerians.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of the patients presenting with diarrhoea to the hospital was done.

SETTING: The study was carried out in both children and adults presenting with diarrhoea at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City from June to December, 2001.

SUBJECTS: A total of 215 patients were prospectively admitted into the study. This consisted of 95 males and 120 females. These were 139 children and 78 adults. Samples taken from them were subjected to cold temperature enrichment at 40C and subsequently subcultured in Deoxycholate citrate agar (DCA) and MacConkey agar (MCA) plates and incubated at 250C and 370C. Microscopy, culture and biochemical tests were done on all the samples. The sources of drinking water of the patients were determined and the literacy status of the 78 adults amongst them was also noted.

RESULTS: 47 (21.9%) of the 215 patients were positive for Yersinia enterocolitica. The highest prevalence of 32.8% was recorded among children age 1-9 years. There was a strong association between sources of drinking water and prevalence of Yersinia enterocolitica. The prevalence was also found to be high among illiterate and semi illiterate adults. Sex did not play any positive role in the infections (x2, p>0.05)

CONCLUSION: In addition to rotavirus and bacteria such as Shigellae, Yersinia enterocolitica has been found to be responsible for gastroenteritis which is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality among majority of Nigerians. It is recommended that provision of clean portable water for drinking and addressing the poverty status of the populace by the various tiers of governments would go a long way to reducing morbidity and mortality associated with gastroenteritis.

KEY WORDS: Prevalence, Yersinia enterocolitica, portable drinking water, Agar

Sahel Med. J. Vol.5(4) 2002: 182-185
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