Study of bacteria and yeast pathogens causing sore throat in a tertiary care centre in Patna
Keywords:Sore throat, Antibiotic Resistance, Colonization, Group A Streptococcus (GAS)
Introduction- Sore throat is a common diagnosis in clinical practice and is mostly caused by viruses followed by bacteria and fungi. Proper management of sore throat depends on identification of the causative organism and judicious use of correct antimicrobials which is often ignored in daily clinical practice and is resulting in treatment failure and antimicrobial resistance. Healthy population carrying pathogenic organisms can be a significant source of sore throat, especially in the hospital environment.
Aim- The objective of this study was to determine the profile and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of bacteria and yeast pathogens causing sore throat and to evaluate the colonization of such pathogens in an apparently healthy population.
Materials and Methods- This prospective study was conducted for 2 years among 2 groups: cases (103 clinically diagnosed patients) and controls (42 individuals with no clinical diagnosis of sore throat). 145 pairs of throat swab samples were collected and processed for staining, culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. An MS Excel spreadsheet (V. 2007) was used to perform the statistical calculations.
Results- The majority of the cases include adolescents and young adults aged 11-40 years, i.e. 55.3% with an overall male predominance with a male:female ratio of 2.1:1. The causative organisms vary in different age groups with gram-positive organisms being the most prevalent among children and young adults. Most of the cases (53.4%) have seen in months between November to April, indicating a seasonal variation in the incidence of sore throat. Clinically significant isolates from cases like Staphylococcus aureus showed 100% sensitivity against vancomycin and linezolid. Group A Streptococci showed good sensitivity (>80%) against penicillin and ampicillin. Gram-negative isolates showed good sensitivity (>50%) against amikacin, piperacillin-tazobactam and imipenem. Neisseria gonorrhoeae showed good sensitivity against ceftriaxone (100%).
Conclusion- Sore throat must be treated by identifying the causative pathogen based on the clinical and epidemiological profile of the patient. Surveillance of apparently healthy patient’s throat flora in the hospital environment may reduce the spread of such organisms among the susceptible population and contribute to hospital infection control practices.
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