Salmonellosis in Children at a Portuguese Hospital: A Retrospective Study

Introduction: Salmonellosis represents a considerable health, social and economic burden in both high- and low-income countries. Recently, in Portugal, most cases of Salmonella infections have been reported in children under 15 years of age. The main aim of this study was to characterize, from an epidemiological, microbiological, and clinical perspective, cases of Salmonella isolation among children.
Material and Methods: The authors performed a descriptive study using retrospective analysis of cases of salmonellosis, in pediatric age, at a Portuguese Level II Hospital, between January 2015 and July 2020. 
Results: The population included a total of 63 children, of which 81% were Portuguese. Ethnicity was identified in 13 children, most of whom were African. The median age at diagnosis was four years old (3.5 - 9 years old). Despite the small number of cases per year in our study (11), one-third were severe enough to require hospitalization. Overall, 13% of patients were treated with antibiotics. In 63% of the isolates, serotype was identified: Salmonella Enteriditis (38%), Salmonella Typhimurium (22%), and Salmonella Typhi (3%). Antibiotic resistance rates were 19% for ampicillin and 6.4% for amoxicillinclavulanic acid and cotrimoxazole. No resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was found.
Conclusion: Given the obtained results, we intend to improve knowledge on salmonellosis in Portugal and, consequently improve prevention strategies, treatment and its notification. Although the incidence of salmonellosis has been decreasing in recent years it is the second most frequent gastrointestinal infection in the European Union, contributing to significant rates of hospitalizations and use of antibiotics in Portugal.

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