Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health; Pathology and Microbiology; Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Background: The rise of Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) poses a considerable burden on the healthcare systems, particularly in low-middle income countries like Pakistan. There is a scarcity of data on the carriage of MDRO particularly in the pediatrics population therefore, we aimed to determine MDRO carriage in pediatric patients at the time of admission to a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, and to identify the risk factors associated with it.
Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted at the pediatric department of Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) from May to September 2019 on 347 children aged 1-18 years. For identification of MDRO (i.e., Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) producers, Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE), Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter species and MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa), nasal swabs and rectal swabs or stool samples were cultured on specific media within 72 h of hospitalization. Data was collected on a predesigned structured questionnaire on demographics, prior use of antibiotics for > 48 h in the last 6 months, history of vaccination in last 6 months, exposure to health care facility regardless of the time of exposure, ICU stay for > 72 h, and about the prior use of medical devices (urinary catheter, central venous lines etc.) in last 1 year. Statistical analysis was performed by Standard statistical software.
Results: Out of 347 participants, 237 (68.3%) were found to be MDRO carriers. Forty nine nasal swabs from 346 children (14.2%) showed growth of MRSA. The majority of the stool/rectal swabs (n = 222 of 322; 69%) collected were positive for MDRO. The most isolated species were ESBL Escherichia coli 174/222 (78.3%) followed by ESBL Enterobacter species 37/222 (16.7%) and ESBL Klebsiella pneumoniae 35/222 (15.8%). On univariate analysis, none of the risk factors showed statistically significant association with MDRO carriage.
Conclusion: Overall, a high prevalence of MDRO carriage was identified among admitted pediatric patients. Implementation of systematic screening may help to identify true burden of MDROs carriage in the health care settings.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC Infectious Diseases

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.