Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr.  2021 Jul;24(4):346-356. 10.5223/pghn.2021.24.4.346.

Prevalence, Laboratory Findings and Clinical Characteristics of Campylobacteriosis Agents among Hospitalized Children with Acute Gastroenteritis in Lebanon

Affiliations
  • 1Rammal Hassan Rammal Research Laboratory, PhyToxE Research Group, Faculty of Sciences, Lebanese University, Nabatieh, Lebanon
  • 2Department of Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Islamic University of Lebanon, Khalde, Lebanon
  • 3Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon
  • 4Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences, Lebanese University, Nabatieh, Lebanon
  • 5Arkadi M. Rywlin M.D. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL, USA

Abstract

Purpose
Campylobacter species are currently the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis. In Lebanon, Campylobacter infection occurrence is underdiagnosed owing to the lack of specific culture and rapid test kits, particularly among children. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence, laboratory findings, and clinical characteristics of Campylobacter infection in hospitalized children with acute gastroenteritis in South Lebanon.
Methods
We conducted a 6-month retrospective cohort study between January and June 2018, including 291 children aged between 1 month and 12 years, who were admitted to a tertiary healthcare center in South Lebanon. The medical files of the patients were reviewed to retrieve the required clinical information, including clinical and laboratory data.
Results
The prevalence of campylobacteriosis agents in pediatric patients with acute gastroenteritis is 12.02%. Patients infected with Campylobacter had more severe acute gastroenteritis than Campylobacter-negative patients and often presented with high-grade fever, diarrhea episodes more than six times per day, diarrhea lasting for more than five days, and dehydration. Indeed, children with high-grade fever (≥38.5°C) were five times more likely to test positive for Campylobacter than those with low-grade fever. In addition, the results showed a higher Vesikari score for the majority of Campylobacter-positive patients with severe acute gastroenteritis compared to a moderate profile for Campylobacter-negative patients.
Conclusion
The present study findings highlight that Campylobacter infection is frequent among children with acute gastroenteritis. Therefore, the detection of Campylobacter should be carried out for the diagnosis of human gastroenteritis in Lebanon, along with the detection of routine enteropathogens.

Keyword

Campylobacteriosis; Campylobacter; Gastroenteritis; Children; Diarrhea; Lebanon
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