Background: Pediatric bacterial bloodstream infections (BSIs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Epidemiological data from resource-limited settings in southeast Asia, such as Cambodia, are sparse but have important implications for treatment and public health strategies.
Methods: We retrospectively investigated BSI in children at a pediatric hospital and its satellite clinic in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from January 1, 2007, to July 31, 2011. The range of bacterial pathogens and their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns were analyzed in conjunction with demographic, clinical and outcome data.
Results: Of 7682 blood cultures with results (99.9% of cultures taken), 606 (7.9%) episodes of BSI were identified in 588 children. The incidence of BSI increased from 14 to 50/1000 admissions (P < 0.001); this was associated with an increased sampling rate. Most BSI were community acquired (89.1%). Common pathogens included Salmonella Typhi (22.8% of all isolates), Staphylococcus aureus (12.2%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (10.0%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (6.4%) and Escherichia coli (6.3%). 21.5% of BSI were caused by a diverse group of uncommon organisms, the majority of which were environmental Gram-negative species. No Listeria monocytogenes or Group B streptococcal BSI were identified. Antimicrobial resistance, particularly among the Enterobacteriaceae, was common. Overall mortality was substantial (19.0%), higher in neonates (36.9%) and independently associated with meningitis/meningoencephalitis and K. pneumoniae infection.
Conclusions: BSI is a common problem in Cambodian children attending hospital and associated with significant mortality. Further studies are needed to clarify the epidemiology of neonatal sepsis, the contribution of atypical organisms and the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease before the introduction of vaccine.