Journal Article

Surveillance of Acute Bacterial Meningitis among Children Admitted to a District Hospital in Rural Mozambique

A. Roca, Q. Bassat, L. Morais, S. Machevo, B. Sigaúque, C. O'Callaghan, T. Nhamposa, E. Letang, I. Mandomando, D. Nhalungo, Ll. Quintó and P. Alonso

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 48, issue Supplement_2, pages S172-S180
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/596497
Surveillance of Acute Bacterial Meningitis among Children Admitted to a District Hospital in Rural Mozambique

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Background. Acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) remains an important cause of mortality among African children. Epidemiologic data with regard to ABM infection are necessary for prioritizing public health interventions.

Methods. We strengthened hospital-based surveillance of ABM among children admitted to Manhiça District Hospital (Maputo, Mozambique). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples were collected from children admitted to the hospital who met clinical criteria of ABM. Laboratory determinations were performed. Clinical information and outcome of cases were recorded.

Results. During the first 12 months of surveillance, which began in January 2006, CSF samples were collected from 642 children <15 years of age with suspected meningitis (18% of all pediatric patients admitted to the hospital during that time). ABM was confirmed in 43 (7%) of the 642 cases. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (14 cases), pneumococcus (9 cases), and meningococcus (7 cases) represented ∼70% of confirmed cases. Four of the 9 pneumococci were serotypes covered by the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. The case fatality rate among patients with ABM was 24% (8 of 33 with known outcome); an additional 8 patients left the hospital before discharge. The incidence of ABM was 85 per 100,000 population, which peaked at 2–12 months of age at 1078 cases per 100,000 population. All 9 pneumococci isolates were susceptible to chloramphenicol, and 8 were susceptible to penicillin (the additional 1 had intermediate resistance). For the 10 Hib isolates tested, only 1 was susceptible to chloramphenicol, and 5 were susceptible to ampicillin.

Conclusion. These data reinforce the importance of ABM as a cause of hospital admission and death in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Most observed ABM cases could have been prevented by current pneumococcal and Hib conjugate vaccines.

Journal Article.  5935 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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