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BACKGROUND: Ear infection is a common problem for both children and adults especially in developing countries. However in Ethiopia particularly in the study area, there is no recent data that shows the magnitude of the problem. The aim of this study was to determine the bacterial isolates and their drug susceptibility patterns from patients who had ear infection.
METHOD: A retrospective study was conducted from September, 2009 to August, 2012 at Gondar University Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia. Ear discharge samples were cultured on MacConkey agar, blood agar and chocolate agar plates. A standard biochemical procedure was used for full identification of bacterial isolates. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were done on Mueller-Hinton agar by using disk diffusion method. Data were entered and analyzed by using SPSS version 20 software and P-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULT: A total of 228 ear discharge samples were tested for bacterial isolation and 204 (89.5%) cases were found to have bacterial isolates. From the total bacterial isolates, 115 (56.4%) were gram negative bacteria and the predominant isolate was proteus species (27.5%). Of individuals who had ear infection, 185 (90.7%) had single bacterial infection while 19 (9.3%) had mixed infections. Under five children were more affected by ear infection. The prevalence of ear infection was significantly high in males (63.7 vs 36.3%) (P = 0.017). Of all bacterial isolates, 192 (94.1%) had multiple antibiotic resistant pattern. Non Lactose Fermenter Gram Negative Rods (46.0%), Klebsella species (47.7%) and Pseudomonas species (48.5%) were resistant against the commonly used antibiotics.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of ear infection was very high in the study area. Majority of the bacterial isolates were resistant to multiple antibiotics. Hence antibiotics susceptibility test is mandatory before prescribing any antibiotics