Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
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OBJECTIVES: To describe Salmonella infections in children presenting to the Children's Hospital (London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario), to assess risk factors for infection and to examine whether younger children, particularly infants younger than 12 weeks of age, experience higher morbidity than older children. METHODS: A 10-year retrospective review of children with Salmonella infections at the Children's Hospital was conducted. Patient demographics, risk factors for infection, clinical characteristics, bacteriology and outcome were collected from the hospital charts and laboratory records. Data were separated into groups based on age and recent use of antibiotics to analyze differences in outcomes. RESULTS: Sixty-six children with Salmonella infections presented to the Children's Hospital over a 10-year period. Common risk factors for Salmonella infection included having sick contacts, living in a rural area, recent travel, contact with pets (especially reptiles) and exposure to local water. Younger age was associated with an increased likelihood of admission to hospital, treatment with antibiotics and a longer course of antibiotic therapy. This was true when comparing older infants with those younger than 12 weeks of age. Patients recently treated with antibiotics and those with significant underlying medical conditions were more likely to be admitted. CONCLUSIONS: A wider knowledge of the epidemiological risk factors for Salmonella infection may improve diagnosis. Higher admission rates were expected in children younger than 12 weeks of age, those recently treated with antibiotics and those who had a significant underlying medical condition. A prospective, multicentre study is needed to further address questions regarding increased illness severity and appropriate management of Salmonella infections in children younger than 12 weeks of age. ©2010 Pulsus Group Inc. All rights reserved.