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Bacterial Etiology Associated with Sore Throat and Pneumonia

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Author(s): Uzma Malik | Noor-us-Saba | Ali Abbas Qazilbash

Journal: Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1727-3048

Volume: 5;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 575;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: Bacterial etiology | sore throat | pneumonia infections

ABSTRACT
This study was designed to ascertain the bacterial etiology associated with acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) among patients visiting the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Islamabad. These patients presented symptoms of sore throat and pneumonia. Clinical samples (throat, pharyngeal swabs and sputum) were obtained from a total of 225 patients (125 sore throat, 100 pneumonia) and were subjected to a series of microbiological and biochemical tests to identify the bacterial pathogens associated with such infections. Of the 125 sore throat samples, 15% were found to be of bacterial etiology. Among the bacterial isolates, S. aureus was found to be the most common (16.8%), followed by S. pyogenes (7.2%), H. influenzae and other -hemoloytic Streptococci (5%). H. influenzae was found predominantly in children under the age of 5 years (75%), while S. pyogenes was most common pathogen among children of school going age (44.4%). Among the adult patients, K. pneumoniae and S. aureus were the common isolates (38.5 and 83.3%, respectively). As for the 100 pneumonia patients, the study revealed that 47% of the cases were attributable to other than viral pathogens, of which 2% were associated with the fungal pathogen C. albicans and the rest to bacterial sources. K. pneumoniae was reported in 16%, S. pneumoniae in 10%, H. influenzae in 9%, S. aureus in 7% and P. aeruginosa in 3% of the pneumonia patients. H. influenzae was most common among children under the age of 5 years (53.8%), followed by S. ´┐Żpneumoniae (38.5%) within the same age bracket. Among adults, K. pneumoniae and S. aureus were found to be most common, with 100% incidence of K. pneumoniae in the 46-55 year age group and 40% S. aureus among the 36-45 year age bracket. The findings of the study indicate that clinicians and parents alike need to take particular care in identifying the etiological agent responsible for ARIs, to ensure the most appropriate and effective therapy. Also, in case of H. influenzae there is need to promote childhood immunization (Hib) to prevent complications, like meningitis, arising from primary ARIs caused by this particular fastidious bacteria.
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