Salmonella Gastroenteritis in Children

Cláudia Almeida, Diana Moreira, Ângela Machado, Isaura Terra, Lucília Vieira, Joaquim Cunha


Introduction: The gastroenteritis (GE) by Salmonella is an important cause of disease in childhood. In Portugal an average of 456 cases per year are notified, 82% of which before the age of fifteen.

Aim of the study: Clinical and laboratorial characterization of the pediatric population with GE by Salmonella admitted in a level two hospital.

Material and methods: Retrospective study of patients admitted in the Emergency Room between 2005 and 2009 with Salmonella isolation in coproculture.

Results: In 8195 admissions by GE, 218 (2.66%) cases of Salmonella GE were identified. The most frequently isolated serotypes were S. enteritidis (49.1%) and S. typhimurium (29.8%). The studied population was mostly rural (83%) with median of age of 36 months. It was registered a predominance of S. enteritidis (63.6%, p < 0.01) above 36 months and of S. typhimurium under this age (75.3%, p < 0.01). As for the annual distribution, 166 (76%) cases occurred between May and October. It was noticed an association between S. enteritidis and the summer (52.3%, p < 0.01), and between S. typhimurium and the spring (35.4%, p < 0.01). Among the food items potentially involved in the infection, eggs and non-potable water were the most mentioned. A number of 182 (83.5%) children were hospitalized, of which one with septic shock and another with secondary bacteraemia, both with good clinical evolution.

Conclusion: The authors observed the high prevalence of Salmonella GE within the context of a rural population, as well as a high admission rate. It is to detach the potential association between the serotypes and specific food items, the prevalence in the hottest seasons of the year and its distribution by age groups.

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