Antimicrobial susceptibility of bacterial pathogens in the oropharynx of healthy school children in Turkey

Indian J Med Res. 2004 Nov;120(5):489-94.


Background & objectives: Information on oropharyngeal carriage rates of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pyogenes and Moraxella catarrhalis and their resistance pattern in healthy school children in Turkey is lacking. The present study was undertaken to determine the carriage rates and antimicrobial resistance of these bacterial pathogens in such children aged 6-14 yr in Manisa, Turkey.

Methods: A total of 1022 children were included from nine schools selected randomly from 32 schools. Throat swabs were cultured for bacteria which were identified using standard microbiological methods. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined as per National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards guidelines.

Results: Of the 1022 children 240 (23.4%) harboured S. pneumoniae, 162 (15.8%) H. influenzae, 30 (2.9%) S. pyogenes and 82 (8%) M. catarrhalis in their oropharynx. For S. pneumoniae overall 17.9 per cent of the isolates were intermediately and 7 per cent were resistant to penicillin and resistance to erythromycin trimethoprim-sulphamethoxasole (TMP/SMX), and chloramphenicol was 13.7, 9.1 and 1.6 per cent, respectively. Ampicillin resistance observed in 20.9 per cent of H. influenzae isolates was associated with the presence of beta-lactamase, except two isolates interpreted as beta-lactamase-negative ampicillin resistant strains. Resistance of H. influenzae to TMP/SMX, chloramphenicol, azithromycin, cefaclor and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid was 14.2, 2.4, 1.8, 1.2 and 1.2 per cent, respectively. M.catarrhalis isolates produced beta-lactamase in 80.5 per cent of the cases and all were susceptible to macrolides and clavulanic acid/amoxicillin combination; the highest rate of resistance of 17 per cent was for TMP/SMX. One (3.3%) isolate of S. pyogenes was resistant to macrolides tested.

Interpretation & conclusion: Our data shows that upper respiratory tract of about 50 per cent children was colonized with respiratory pathogens. There is a need for surveillance of nasopharyngeal carriage of resistant strains in healthy school children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Child
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests*
  • Oropharynx / microbiology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Turkey / epidemiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents