Salmonellosis is one of the major public health concerns in Bahrain as it has increased rapidly during the past few years. This study aims to determine the prevalence of salmonellosis in children and the possible risk factors such as age, geographical area, nationality, gender, unsafe drinking water, infant born weight and gastrointestinal disease. The cases of salmonellosis in children reported by the Ministry of Health of Bahrain ranged from 21 to 26 per 100,000 population during the period 2012-2016. Salmonellosis cases were geographically concentrated in the capital and northern regions. Statistical analysis showed a significant difference in the number of salmonellosis cases between Bahrainis and non-Bahrainis based on region, and gender (p < 0.001). In the Bahraini cohort, there was an association between the increase of cases and the number of gastrointestinal disease-related deaths (p < 0.05). In addition, unsafe water (over the level of 2.14%) and low-birth weight (<3.100 g) were associated, but not statistically significant (p = 0.086 and p = 0.126, respectively) with the increase of salmonellosis cases. Despite the decline in the number of cases, the results of this study contribute to the understanding of the epidemiology of Salmonella in humans and this, in turn, will help develop and implement preventative measures.
Keywords: Bahrain; children; epidemiology; food- and water-borne pathogen; incidence rates; pediatric; salmonellosis surveillance.