Etiology of Childhood Diarrhoea in Benghazi-Libya

Original article


Ghanim M. A 1, Taher I. A.A 1, Ahmaida A. A. I 2, Tobgi R. S 1

1-Microbiology Department ,Faculty of Medicine, Garyounis University, Benghazi-Libya. 2-Pediatrics Department ,Faculty of Medicine, Garyounis University, Benghazi-Libya.

Garyounis Medical Journal Vol. 20 No.1, 2003:26-36.


Objectives: To determine the causative agents of diarrhea among children in Benghazi. Materia1s & Methods: Three hundred and fifty six children with acute diarrhea and 100 control children were enrolled in this study at AL-Fateh Children’s Hospital, Benghazi, Libya. Standard laboratory techniques were used for the detection of enteropathogens and for antibiotic susceptibility testing. Results: Of the patients examined, 145 (40.7%) were found to be infected compared to two (2%) control subjects infected with Shigella sonnei. A single enteric pathogen was detected in 85.5% of patients, while multiple pathogens were seen in 14.5%. The prevalence of enteropathogens was as follows: rotavirus (24%), diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (by serotyping, 8.5°/o), salmonella (7.3%). shigella (4.8%) and campylobacter (2.4%). Dehydration was evident in 79% of patients, with 7% affected by severe dehydration. Vomiting and fever were seen in 94% and 75% of patients respectively. Diarrheagenic E. coil, salmonella and shigella were highly resistant to most of the antibiotics tested. Although, rotavirus and diarrheagenic E. coli were among the main agents causing diarrhea in Libyan children. However, they are not screened for during routine stool examination in public health laboratories. Conclusion: these results highlight the importance of modifying the current techniques that are used in the diagnosis of diarrheal disease in our hospitals.

Keywords: Etiology of Childhood Diarrhoea in Benghazi-Libya