Infectious acute diarrhea in Libyan children: causative agents, clinical features, treatment and prevention.



Khalifa Sifaw Ghenghesh 1,Ezzadin A. Franka 1, Khaled A. Tawil 1,Salah Abeid 1,Mustafa Ben Ali 2, Ibrahim A. Taher 3,Rajab Tobgi 3.

1-Faculty of Medicine, Al-Fateh University, Tripoli, 2-Faculty of Arts and Sciences, El-Khomes University,El-Khomes, 3-Faculty of Medicine, Gharyounis University, Benghazi, Libya

Libyan J Infect Dis. Vol. 2, No.1. Jan-2008:10-19


Diarrhea remains one of the principle causes of morbidity and mortality in children in the world. Although studies on causative agents of children diarrhea in Libya are few, the available data shows that rotavirus is the major cause of diarrhea in Libyan children. However, bacterial and parasitic pathogens also play an important role in the etiology of diarrhea in children in Libya with salmonellae and Cryptosporidium as major agents, respectively. Fever and severe dehydration are common clinical features among diarrheic children particularly those affected by rotavirus. The emergence of antimicrobial-resistant enteric bacterial pathogens in this population has been noted and may complicate treatment options. The ease by which antimicrobial agents can be obtained over the counter in Libya may play a role in the emergence of this problem. A serious educational program in the country on the benefits of breast feeding is needed. Also, the introduction of a rotavirus vaccine into the vaccination program in Libya to protect the pediatric population should be taken into consideration.

Keywords: Children, diarrhea, rotavirus, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Libya