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1.  Epidemiology and genetic diversity of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in East Africa 
Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland)  2013;94(1):10.1016/
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is an emerging problem in many parts of the world, and levels of MDR-TB among new TB patients are increasing in sub-Saharan Africa. We reviewed the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of MDR-TB in East Africa, including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. In 16 epidemiologic surveys, the prevalence of MDR among new cases ranges from 0.4% in Tanzania to 4.4% in Uganda, and among recurrent cases ranges from 3.9% in Tanzania to 17.7% in Uganda. There is a gap of 5,948 cases between the estimated number of MDR-TB cases in East Africa and the number actually diagnosed. The only confirmed risk factors for MDR-TB are prior treatment for TB and refugee status. HIV has not been reported as a risk factor, and there are no reports of statistical association between spoligotype and drug resistance pattern. Increased capacity for diagnosis and treatment of MDR-TB is needed, with an emphasis on recurrent TB cases and refugees.
PMCID: PMC3877177  PMID: 24215798
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB); prevalence; genetic diversity; risk factors; East Africa
2.  Utility of qualitative C- reactive protein assay and white blood cells counts in the diagnosis of neonatal septicaemia at Bugando Medical Centre, Tanzania 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14(1):248.
Neonatal septicaemia diagnosis based on clinical features alone is non-specific leading to the initiation of unnecessary antibiotic treatment posing a danger of increased antibiotic resistance. In the present study the utility of serial qualitative C-reactive protein (CRP) assay and white blood cells count (WBC) in the diagnosis of neonatal septicaemia was investigated using blood culture as gold standard.
A total of 305 neonates admitted at Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) neonatal units between September 2013 and April 2014 were enrolled. Demographic and clinical data were collected using standardized data collection tool. Blood specimens were collected for blood culture, WBC count and qualitative CRP assay.
Of 305 neonates; 224 (73.4%) were ≤ 72 hrs of age and 91(29.8%) had low birth weight. The positive CRP assay was observed in 67 (22.0%), 80 (26.2%) and 88 (28.9%) of neonates on day 1, 2 and 3 respectively; with any CRP positive occurred in 104 (34.1%) of neonates. The sensitivities of CRP assay in the diagnosis of septicaemia using culture as gold standard on day 1, 2, 3 and any positive were 40.4%, 53.2%, 54.8% and 62.9% respectively. While specificities were 82.7%, 80.7%, 77.8% and 73.3% respectively. Higher sensitivity of 75% was observed when CRP was used to diagnose gram negative septicaemia compared to 50% that was observed in the diagnosis of gram positive septicaemia. WBC count of ≥13 × 109 /L had sensitivity and specificity of 64.5% and 66.7% respectively with area under the curve of 0.694. When the any positive CRP and WBC of ≥13 × 109 /L were used the sensitivity increased to 90.3% with specificity of 50%. Neonates with septicaemia due to gram negative bacteria were significantly found to have higher rates of positive CRP than neonates with gram positive septicaemia and with negative culture (p < 0.001, OR 8.2, 95 CI; 2.9-26).
In place where blood culture is limited neonates having clinical features of neonatal sepsis with positive qualitative CRP assay and increased WBC should urgently be initiated on appropriate sepsis management in order to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with neonatal sepsis.
PMCID: PMC4192733  PMID: 25280754
C-reactive protein; Neonatal sepsis; WBC
3.  Incidence and predictors of surgical site infections following caesarean sections at Bugando Medical Centre, Mwanza, Tanzania 
Surgical site infection (SSI) is the second most common infectious complication after urinary tract infection following a delivery by caesarean section (CS). At Bugando Medical Centre there has no study documenting the epidemiology of SSI after CS despite the large number of CSs performed and the relatively common occurrence of SSIs.
This was a prospective cohort study involving pregnant women who underwent a CS between October 2011 and February 2012 at Bugando Medical Centre. A total of 345 pregnant women were enrolled. Preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative data were collected using a standardized questionnaire. Wound specimens were collected and processed as per standard operative procedures; and susceptibility testing was carried out using a disc diffusion technique. Data was analyzed using STATA version 11.
The overall cumulative incidence of SSI was 10.9% with an incidence rate of 37.5 per 10,000 people/day (95% CI, 26.8-52.4). The median time from CS to the development of SSI was 7 days (interquartile range [IQR] = 6–9 days). Six independent risk factors for post caesarean SSI as identified in this study by multivariate analysis are: hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HR: 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1-5.6; P = 0.021), severe anaemia (HR: 3.8; 95% CI, 1.2-12.4, P = 0.028), surgical wound class III (HR: 2.4; 95% CI, 1.1-5.0; P = 0.021), multiple vaginal examinations (HR: 2.5; 95% CI, 1.2-5.1; P = 0.011), prolonged duration of operation (HR: 2.6; 95% CI, 1.2-5.5; P = 0.015) and an operation performed by an intern or junior doctor (HR: 4.0; 95% CI, 1.7-9.2; P = 0.001). Staphylococcus aureus was the most common organism (27.3%), followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae (22.7%). Patients with a SSI had a longer average hospital stay than those without a SSI (12.7 ± 6.9 vs. 4 ± 1.7; P < 0.0001) and the case fatality rate among patients with a SSI was 2.9%.
SSIs are common among women undergoing CSs at Bugando Medical Centre. SSIs were commonly associated with multiple factors. Strategies to control these factors are urgently needed to control SSIs post CS at Bugando Medical Centre and other centres in developing countries.
PMCID: PMC4131772  PMID: 25126415
4.  Prevalence and determinants of Campylobacter infection among under five children with acute watery diarrhea in Mwanza, North Tanzania 
Archives of Public Health  2014;72(1):17.
Campylobacteriosis, a zoonotic bacterial disease observed world-wide, is becoming the most commonly recognized cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. This study was done to determine the prevalence and determinants of Campylobacter infection among under-fives with acute watery diarrhea in Mwanza City, Tanzania.
This cross-sectional hospital-based study was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) and Sekou Toure Hospital in Mwanza City. All inpatients and outpatients under-fives who met the inclusion criteria from October 2012 to April 2013 were enrolled in the study. Demographic and clinical data were obtained using standardized data collection tools. Stool samples were collected for gram staining and culture for Campylobacter spp. on Preston selective agar media. In addition, blood slides for malaria and HIV tests were done to all patients.
A total of 300 children were enrolled with a median age of 12 [interquartile range, 8–19] months. Of these, 169 (56.5%) were from BMC and 131 (43.7%) from Sekou-Toure hospital. One hundred and seventy (56.7%) of the participating children were male. Of 300 under-fives with acute watery diarrhea, 29 patients (9.7%) were found to have Campylobacter infection. A significant higher number of children with Campylobacter infection were found in Sekou Toure hospital compared to BMC [16.0% (21/29) versus 4.7% (8/29), p = 0.002)]. Age above 2 years was independently found to predict campylobacter infection (OR: 2.9, 95% CI 1.1-7.7, p = 0.0037). Of 30 patients with a positive blood slide for Plasmodium falciparum, 20.0% were also positive for Campylobacter infection (OR: 3.9, 95% CI 1.2-10.1, p = 0.021).
Campylobacter infection shows a comparatively low prevalence in under-fives with acute watery diarrhea in Mwanza city and is independently associated with positive slides for malaria and an age above 2 years. Further studies are needed to type the most prevalent Campylobacter species and to determine their antibiotic susceptibility pattern.
PMCID: PMC4057571  PMID: 24932408
Acute watery diarrhea; Campylobacteriosis; Under five children
5.  Evaluation of existence and transmission of extended spectrum beta lactamase producing bacteria from post-delivery women to neonates at Bugando Medical Center, Mwanza-Tanzania 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:279.
Extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing bacteria (ESBL) are common causes of neonatal sepsis worldwide. Neonatal sepsis due to ESBL is associated with increased morbidity and mortality at Bugando Medical Centre (BMC). Due to limited information on the sources of these ESBL strains at BMC, this study was conducted to evaluate the existence, magnitude and transmission of ESBL from post-delivery women to neonates at BMC, Mwanza-Tanzania.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at obstetrics and neonatal wards from May to July 2013, involving post-delivery women and their neonates. Rectal swabs were collected and processed to identify the ESBL strains and their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Patients’ data were obtained using a standardized data collection tool. We enrolled 113 women and 126 neonates with mean age of 26.5 ± 5.5 years and median gestation age [IQR] of 39 [35–40] weeks respectively. The prevalence of ESBL carriage among women and neonates were 15% (17/113) and 25.4% (32/126) respectively. The acquisition of ESBL isolates among neonates on day 1, day 3 and day 7 were 60.0% (21/35), 25.7% (9/35) and 14.3% (5/35) respectively. There was no phenotypic similarity between ESBL strains from women and their respective neonates, suggesting other sources of transmission. Neonates given antibiotics were more likely to carry ESBL than those not given [100% (32/32) versus 86% (81/94), p = 0.018].
The carriage rate of ESBL strains among post-delivery women and neonates at BMC is high. Our findings suggest that neonates acquire these strains from sources other than post-delivery women and more than half acquire them on the first day of life. More studies are recommended to further explore the sources of ESBL strains among neonates.
PMCID: PMC4014626  PMID: 24886506
ESBL; Post-delivery women; Neonates; Tanzania
6.  Pattern and factors associated with congenital anomalies among young infants admitted at Bugando medical centre, Mwanza, Tanzania 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:195.
Congenital anomalies or birth defects are among the leading causes of infant mortality and morbidity around the world. The impact of congenital anomalies is particularly severe in middle- and low-income countries where health care resources are limited. The prevalence of congenital anomalies varies in different parts of the world, which could reflect different aetiological factors in different geographical regions.
Between October 2012 and January 2013, a cross-sectional study was conducted involving young infants below 2 months of age, admitted at a university teaching hospital in Tanzania. Face-to-face interviews with parents/caretakers of young infants were carried out to collect socio-demographic and clinical information. Physical examinations were performed on all young infants. Echocardiography, X-ray, cranial as well as abdominal ultrasonographies were performed when indicated.
Analysis of the data showed that among 445 young infants enrolled in the study, the prevalence of congenital anomalies was 29%, with the Central Nervous System (CNS) as the most commonly affected organ system. Maternal factors that were significantly associated with congenital anomalies included the lack of peri-conceptional use of folic acid (OR = 3.1; 95% CI = 1.4-6.7; p = 0.005), a maternal age of above 35 years (OR = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.1-4.3; p = 0.024) and an inadequate attendance to antenatal clinic (OR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.4-3.3; p < 0.001). Infant factors that were significantly associated with congenital anomalies were female sex, a birth weight of 2.5 kg or more, singleton pregnancy and a birth order above 4.
Due to the high prevalence of congenital anomalies observed in this particular context, the hospital should mobilize additional resources for an optimal and timely management of the patients with congenital anomalies. In this study, the proportion of women taking folic acid supplements during early pregnancy was very low. Efforts should be made to ensure that more women use folic acid during the peri-conceptional period, as the use of folic acid supplement has been linked by several authors to a reduced occurrence of some congenital anomalies.
PMCID: PMC3974194  PMID: 24679067
7.  Sero-positivity rate of rubella and associated factors among pregnant women attending antenatal care in Mwanza, Tanzania 
Sero-positivity rates of the rubella virus among pregnant women vary widely throughout the world. In Tanzania, rubella vaccination is not included in the national immunization schedule and there is therefore no antenatal screening for this viral disease. So far, there are no reports on the sero-prevalence of rubella among pregnant women in Tanzania. As a result, this study was undertaken to establish the sero-positivity rate of rubella and rubella risk factors among pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in Mwanza, Tanzania.
From November 2012 to May 2013 a total of 350 pregnant women were enrolled and their serum samples collected and analyzed using the AXSYM anti-rubella virus IgG/IgM-MEIA test. Demographic and clinical data were collected using a standardized data collection tool. Data analysis was done using STATA version 12.
Of 342 pregnant women tested for rubella antibodies, 317 (92.6%) were positive for anti-rubella IgG while only 1 (0.3%) was positive for IgM. Higher sero-positivity rates were found in the age group of 25–44 years. Furthermore, it was observed that with each year increase in age, the risk of contracting rubella increases by 12% (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.02-1.22, P = 0.019). Women involved in farming and business women were at a higher risk of contracting rubella infection compared to formally employed women (OR: 4.9, P = 0.011; OR 7.1, p = 0.003 respectively). In univariate analysis, the risk of contracting rubella virus infection was found to increase with gestational age with a statistical significance.
Sero-positivity rates of rubella are high in Mwanza and are significantly associated with an increase in age and being a farmer or a business woman. Screening of rubella and immunization of women at risk are highly recommended in this area with a high non-immune rate against rubella virus.
PMCID: PMC3975942  PMID: 24589180
Prevalence; Rubella; Pregnancy; Mwanza; Tanzania
8.  Impact of Antiretroviral Therapy on Renal Function among HIV-Infected Tanzanian Adults: A Retrospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89573.
Data regarding the outcomes of HIV-infected adults with baseline renal dysfunction who start antiretroviral therapy are conflicting.
We followed up a previously-published cohort of HIV-infected adult outpatients in northwest Tanzania who had high prevalence of renal dysfunction at the time of starting antiretroviral therapy (between November 2009 and February 2010). Patients had serum creatinine, proteinuria, microalbuminuria, and CD4+ T-cell count measured at the time of antiretroviral therapy initiation and at follow-up. We used the adjusted Cockroft-Gault equation to calculate estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs).
In this cohort of 171 adults who had taken antiretroviral therapy for a median of two years, the prevalence of renal dysfunction (eGFR <90 mL/min/1.73 m2) decreased from 131/171 (76.6%) at the time of ART initiation to 50/171 (29.2%) at the time of follow-up (p<0.001). Moderate dysfunction (eGFR<60 mL/min/1.73 m2) decreased from 21.1% at antiretroviral therapy initiation to 1.1% at follow-up (p<0.001), as did the prevalence of microalbuminuria (72% to 44%, p<0.001). Use of tenofovir was not associated with renal dysfunction at follow-up.
Mild and moderate renal dysfunction were common in this cohort of HIV-infected adults initiating antiretroviral therapy, and both significantly improved after a median follow-up time of 2 years. Our work supports the renal safety of antiretroviral therapy in African adults with mild-moderate renal dysfunction, suggesting that these regimens do not lead to renal damage in the majority of patients and that they may even improve renal function in patients with mild to moderate renal dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC3935873  PMID: 24586882
9.  Plasma Concentrations of Efavirenz and Nevirapine among HIV-Infected Patients with Immunological Failure Attending a Tertiary Hospital in North-Western Tanzania 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75118.
Sub-therapeutic and supra-therapeutic plasma concentrations of antriretrovirals are the significant causes of treatment failure and toxicity respectively among HIV-infected patients. We conducted this study to determine the pattern of efavirenz and nevirapine plasma drug concentrations among adult HIV-infected patients with immunological failure attending at a tertiary hospital in North-western Tanzania.
Materials and Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted among adult HIV-infected patients with immunological failure who have been on either efavirenz or nevirapine based antiretroviral regimen for more than 6 months. Patients were serially enrolled through routine Care and Treatment Clinic (CTC) activities. Plasma drug concentrations for efavirenz and nevirapine were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and Gas Chromatography (GC) respectively. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data such as viral load and CD4 counts were collected. Data analysis was done using STATA 12.
Of the 152 patients with immunological failure enrolled, the sub-therapeutic, therapeutic and supra-therapeutic plasma antiretroviral drug concentrations were found in 43/152 (28.3%), 76/152 (50.0%) and 33/152 (21.7%) respectively. Half of the patients were outside therapeutic window with either sub-therapeutic or supra-therapeutic plasma ARV drug concentrations. There was a significant difference in distribution of ARV adherence (p-value<0.001), NRTI backbone (p-value = 0.039), HIV stage (p-value = 0.026) and viral load (p-value = 0.007) within sub-therapeutic, therapeutic and supra-therapeutic ARV plasma drug concentrations.
There is a wide inter-individual variability of plasma ARV concentrations among HIV patients with immunological failure, with a large proportion of patients being outside therapeutic window. This variability is significant based on ARV adherence, NRTI backbone, viral load and HIV stage. Routine therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) could assist identifying these patients early and making timely correction to avoid virological failure, poor immunological outcome and prevent associated drug toxicities. Nonetheless, ARV adherence should be strictly emphasized on HIV patients with immunological failure.
PMCID: PMC3769243  PMID: 24058655
10.  Sero-prevalence and factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii infection among pregnant women attending antenatal care in Mwanza, Tanzania 
Parasites & Vectors  2013;6:222.
Serological screening of pregnant women for Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies is not practiced as an antenatal care in Tanzania; and there is a limited data about sero-prevalence of T. gondii infection in developing countries. We therefore conducted this study to determine the sero-prevalence and factors associated with T. gondii infection among pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Between 1st November 2012 and 31st May 2013 a total of 350 pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in Mwanza were enrolled and screened for IgG and IgM antibodies against T. gondii using the ELISA technique.
Of 350 pregnant women, 108 (30.9%) were sero-positive for T. gondii-specific antibodies. The risk of contracting T. gondii infection increases by 7% with each yearly increase in a woman’s age (OR=1.07, 95% CI: 1.02 - 1.11, p=0.002). The sero-positivity rate of T. gondii-specific antibodies was higher among pregnant women from the urban than those from rural communities (41.5% versus 22.0%); [OR=2.2, 95% CI; 1.4 - 3.7, p=0.001]. Likewise employed/business women were more likely to get T. gondii infection than peasants (40.0% versus 25.9%) [OR=1.9, 95% CI: 1.2 - 3.0, p=0.006].
Sero-prevalence of T. gondii-specific antibodies is high among pregnant women in Mwanza with a significant proportion of women at risk of contracting primary T. gondii infections. Screening of T. gondii infections during antenatal care should be considered in Tanzania as the main strategy to minimize congenital toxoplasmosis.
PMCID: PMC3750225  PMID: 23915834
11.  Molecular Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus from Patients with Surgical Site Infections at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66153.
The prevalence of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is progressively increasing globally with significant regional variation. Understanding the Staphylococcus aureus lineages is crucial in controlling nosocomial infections. Recent studies on S. aureus in Uganda have revealed an escalating burden of MRSA. However, the S. aureus genotypes circulating among patients are not known. Here, we report S. aureus lineages circulating in patients with surgical site infections (SSI) at Mulago National hospital, Kampala, Uganda.
A cross-sectional study involving 314 patients with SSI at Mulago National Hospital was conducted from September 2011 to April 2012. Pus swabs from the patients’ SSI were processed using standard microbiological procedures. Methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and MRSA were identified using phenotypic tests and confirmed by PCR-detection of the nuc and mecA genes, respectively. SCCmec genotypes were determined among MRSA isolates using multiplex PCR. Furthermore, to determine lineages, spa sequence based-genotyping was performed on all S. aureus isolates.
Of the 314 patients with SSI, S. aureus accounted for 20.4% (64/314), of which 37.5% (24/64) were MRSA. The predominant SCCmec types were type V (33.3%, 8/24) and type I (16.7%, 4/24). The predominant spa lineages were t645 (17.2%, 11/64) and t4353 (15.6%, 10/64), and these were found to be clonally circulating in all the surgical wards. On the other hand, lineages t064, t355, and t4609 were confined to the obstetrics and gynecology wards. A new spa type (t10277) was identified from MSSA isolate. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, cancer and inducible clindamycin resistance remained as independent predictors of MRSA-SSI.
SCCmec types I and V are the most prevalent MRSA mecA types from the patients’ SSI. The predominant spa lineages (t645 and t4353) are clonally circulating in all the surgical wards, calling for strengthening of infection control practices at Mulago National Hospital.
PMCID: PMC3688721  PMID: 23840416
12.  Single dose of gentamicin in combination with metronidazole versus multiple doses for prevention of post-caesarean infection at Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, Tanzania: a randomized, equivalence, controlled trial 
Caesarean section(C/S) has been found to increase rates of maternal infectious morbidities five times more than vaginal delivery. The provision of intravenous prophylactic antibiotics 30 to 60 minutes prior to C/S has been found to substantially reduce post-caesarean infection. At Bugando Medical Centre, there is no consistent protocol for the administration of antibiotic prophylaxis to patients who are undergoing emergency C/S. Providing repeated dosages of antibiotic prophylaxis after C/S is the common practice. This study aimed to determine the comparative efficacy of a single dose of gentamicin in combination with metronidazole versus multiple doses for prevention of post-caesarean infection.
From October 2011 to May 2012, a randomized, equivalence, non-blinding clinical trial was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, Tanzania. A total of 500 eligible participants were enrolled in the study and were randomly allocated into two study arms -- “A” and “B”. Participants in “A” received a single dose of gentamicin in combination with metronidazole 30 to 60 minutes prior to the operation, and participants in “B” received the same drugs prior to the operation but continued with for 24 hours. Both groups had 30 days of follow-up and were assessed for signs and symptoms of surgical-site infection as the primary outcome. The equivalence margin was set at 5%. The two-tailed equivalence was analyzed based on intention- to-treat analysis.
The randomization was proper, as the distribution of various demographic and other baseline characteristics had a p-value of > 0.05. All 500 participants were included in our analysis; of these, no participants were lost to follow-up. Surgical-site infection occurred in 12 out of the 250 (4.8%) receiving single dose compared to 16 out of the 250 (6.4%) receiving multiple doses. There is an absolute proportion difference of 1.6% (95% Confidence interval: -2.4 – 5.6%) which lies outside the pre-specified 5% equivalence margin.
We recommend the administration of pre-operative single dose antibiotic prophylaxis for emergency caesarean as this intervention proved to be not equivalent to multiple doses antibiotic prophylaxis in reducing surgical site infection. Single dose therapy also reduces staff workload along with medication costs.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN44462542
PMCID: PMC3681664  PMID: 23721411
Post-caesarean infection; Metronidazole; Gentamicin; Mwanza; Tanzania
13.  Bacteremia and resistant gram-negative pathogens among under-fives in Tanzania 
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most serious public health concerns worldwide and is increasing at an alarming rate, making daily treatment decisions more challenging. This study is aimed at identifying local bacterial isolates and their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns to avoid irrational antibiotic use, especially in settings where unguided management occurs and febrile illnesses are predominant.
Material and methods
A hospital-based prospective cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2011 to February 2012. Febrile children were serially recruited and demographic and clinical data were collected using a standardized data collection tool. A blood culture was performed and identification of the isolates was undertaken using in-house biochemical tests. Susceptibility to common antibiotics was investigated using the disc diffusion methods.
Of the 1081 children admitted during the study period, 317 (29.3%) met the inclusion criteria and were recruited, of whom 195 (61.5%) and 122 (38.5%) were male and female respectively. The median age was 18 months with an interquartile range of 9 to 36 months. Of the 317 children, 251 (79.2%) were below or equal to 36 months of age. The prevalence of bacteremia was 6.6%. A higher prevalence of bacteraemia was observed in children below 36 months than in those ≥ 36 months (7.5% vs. 3.0%, p = 0.001). Predictors of bacteraemia were an axillary temperature of >38.5 °C (OR =7, 95% CI = 2.2 - 14.8, p-value = 0.0001), a positive malaria slide (OR =5, 95% CI = 3.0 - 21.2, p-value = 0.0001) and a high neutrophils’ count (OR =21 95% CI = 5.6 - 84, p-value = 0.0001). Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae accounted for 7 (33.3%) and 6 (28.6%) of all the isolates respectively. Others gram-negatives bacteria were Citrobacter spp 2 (9.5%), Enterobacter spp 1 (4.25%), Pseudomonas spp 2 (9.5%), Proteus spp 1 (4.25%) and Salmonella spp 1 (4.25%). These isolates were highly resistant to ampicillin (95%), co-trimoxazole (90%), tetracycline (90%), gentamicin (80%), augmentin (80%), chloramphenicol (65%), ceftriaxone (35%), cefotaxime (35%) ciprofloxacin (30%), amikacin (30%), ceftazidime (25%) and norfloxacine (10%).
Multi-resistant gram-negative bacteria are the commonest cause of bacteremia in under-fives attending the Bugando Medical Centre, Mwanza, Tanzania. A high body temperature, a positive malaria slide and a high absolute neutrophils’ count were all independent risk factors found to predict bacteremia. A higher mortality rate was observed in children with bacteraemia. Continuous epidemiological surveillance should be conducted so that a proper and effective antibiotics management can be instituted, especially in children with a high grade fever, a positive malaria slide and a high neutrophils’ count.
PMCID: PMC3665601  PMID: 23657136
14.  Renal Dysfunction among HIV-Infected Patients Starting Antiretroviral Therapy in Mwanza, Tanzania 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(11):1421-1425.
HIV-related renal dysfunction is associated with high mortality. Data on the prevalence of renal dysfunction among HIV-infected outpatients starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa is limited. Recent recommendations to include the nephrotoxic drug tenofovir in first-line ART regimens make clarification of this issue urgent.
We screened for renal dysfunction by measuring serum creatinine, proteinuria, and microalbuminuria in HIV-positive outpatients initiating ART in Mwanza, Tanzania. We excluded patients with preexisting renal disease, hypertension, diabetes, or Hepatitis C virus co-infection. Estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs) were calculated by Cockroft-Gault and Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equations.
Only 129 (36%) of 355 enrolled patients had normal eGFRs (Grade 0 or 1) above 90 ml/min/1.73m2. Grade 2 renal dysfunction (eGFR between 60 and 89 ml/min/1.73m2) was present in 137 patients (38.6%), and 87 patients (25%) had Grade 3 dysfunction (eGFR between 30 and 59 ml/min/1.73m2). Microalbuminuria and proteinuria were detected in 72% and 36% of patients, respectively. Factors predictive of renal dysfunction in multivariate analysis included female gender (OR 3.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.8–5.1], p<0.0001), Body Mass Index (BMI) <18.5 (OR 2.3 [1.3–4.1], p=0.004), CD4+ T-cell count <200 cells/mm3 (OR 2.3 [1.1–4.8], p=0.04), and World Health Organization (WHO) clinical stage II or above (OR 1.6 [1.2–2.3], p=0.001).
Renal dysfunction was highly prevalent in this population of HIV-positive outpatients initiating first ART in Tanzania. This highlights the critical and underappreciated need to monitor renal function in HIV-positive patients in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly given the increasing use of tenofovir in first-line ART.
PMCID: PMC3631352  PMID: 21572304
renal dysfunction; HIV; antiretroviral therapy; sub-Saharan Africa
15.  Early and Efficient Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Sputum by Microscopic Observation of Broth Cultures 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57527.
Early, efficient and inexpensive methods for the detection of pulmonary tuberculosis are urgently needed for effective patient management as well as to interrupt transmission. These methods to detect M. tuberculosis in a timely and affordable way are not yet widely available in resource-limited settings. In a developing-country setting, we prospectively evaluated two methods for culturing and detecting M. tuberculosis in sputum. Sputum samples were cultured in liquid assay (micro broth culture) in microplate wells and growth was detected by microscopic observation, or in Löwenstein–Jensen (LJ) solid media where growth was detected by visual inspection for colonies. Sputum samples were collected from 321 tuberculosis (TB) suspects attending Bugando Medical Centre, in Mwanza, Tanzania, and were cultured in parallel. Pulmonary tuberculosis cases were diagnosed using the American Thoracic Society diagnostic standards. There were a total of 200 (62.3%) pulmonary tuberculosis cases. Liquid assay with microscopic detection detected a significantly higher proportion of cases than LJ solid culture: 89.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 84.7% to 93.3%) versus 77.0% (95% CI, 71.2% to 82.8%) (p = 0.0007). The median turn around time to diagnose tuberculosis was significantly shorter for micro broth culture than for the LJ solid culture, 9 days (interquartile range [IQR] 7–13), versus 21 days (IQR 14–28) (p<0.0001). The cost for micro broth culture (labor inclusive) in our study was US $4.56 per sample, versus US $11.35 per sample for the LJ solid culture. The liquid assay (micro broth culture) is an early, feasible, and inexpensive method for detection of pulmonary tuberculosis in resource limited settings.
PMCID: PMC3585352  PMID: 23469014
16.  High prevalence of Non–typhoid salmonella bacteraemia among febrile HIV adult patients admitted at a tertiary Hospital, North-Western Tanzania 
Bacterial blood stream infections constitute a significant public-health problem and it is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV infected patients. Little is known in developing countries regarding salmonella bacteraemia among HIV patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the bacterial pathogens causing blood stream infection among febrile adults attending in a tertiary hospital North-Western, Tanzania.
A prospective cross-sectional study involving 346 consecutive, febrile adult patients admitted at Bugando Medical Centre was conducted. Demographic and other data were collected using standardized questionnaires. Blood culture was done followed by susceptibility testing using disc diffusion method. HIV testing was also performed as per Tanzania national algorithm and total white blood cell counts and CD4+ counts determined.
Of 346 febrile adult patients 33 (9.5%) had blood stream infections. The common isolates were Salmonella spp 13(39.4%), Escherichia coli 8 (24.2%), Streptococcus pneumonia 5(15.2%), Staphylococcus aureus 4(12.1%), Citrobacter spp 1(3%), Streptococcus pyogenes 1(3%) and Klebsiella pneumonia 1(3%). A total of 156 (45.1%) patients were HIV infected; of whom 12/156 (7.6%) were infected by non-typhoid Salmonella spp compared to 1/190 (0.5%) of non-HIV infected patients (RRR 11.2, p=0.029) infected with Salmonella typhi. HIV infected patients with bacteraemia had significantly lower CD4+ count than those without bacteraemia (median 28 vs. 88 cells/ml, p=0.01). Patients with salmonella bacteraemia had significantly lower median of WBC than those with non-salmonella as well as those without bacteraemia (median, 3.6 vs. 17.5 vs. 9.8x109, p=0.0001). All Salmonella spp were sensitive to ceftriaxone and imipenem, while being 84%, 69.2%, 38% and 8% resistant to chloramphenicol, ampicillin, sulphamethaxazole/trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin respectively. Predictors of mortality were HIV infection (OR 2.3, p=0.006), Glasgow coma score of less than 15 (OR 3.4, p=0.0001) and night sweats (OR 2.4, p=0.014).
Non-typhoid Salmonella spp that are highly resistant to common antibiotics are predominant cause of bacterial blood stream infection among HIV patients attending Bugando Medical Centre. Continuous surveillance and intervention strategies should be put in place to monitor and manage cases of bloodstream infections in HIV-positive patients in Mwanza, Tanzania.
PMCID: PMC3540015  PMID: 23075077
17.  Experiences with Surgical treatment of chronic lower limb ulcers at a Tertiary hospital in northwestern Tanzania: A prospective review of 300 cases 
BMC Dermatology  2012;12:17.
Chronic lower limb ulcers constitute a major public health problem of great important all over the world and contribute significantly to high morbidity and long-term disabilities. There is paucity of information regarding chronic lower limb ulcers in our setting; therefore it was necessary to conduct this study to establish the patterns and outcome of chronic lower limb ulcers and to identify predictors of outcome in our local setting.
This was a descriptive prospective study of patients with chronic lower limb ulcers conducted at Bugando Medical Centre between November 2010 and April 2012. Ethical approval to conduct the study was sought from relevant authorities. Statistical data analysis was done using SPSS version 17.0 and STATA version 11.0.
A total of 300 patients were studied. Their ages ranged from 3 months to 85 years (median 32 years). The male to female ratio was 2:1. The median duration of illness was 44 days. Traumatic ulcer was the most frequent type of ulcer accounting for 60.3% of patients. The median duration of illness was 44 days. The leg was commonly affected in 33.7% of cases and the right side (48.7%) was frequently involved. Out of 300 patients, 212 (70.7%) had positive aerobic bacterial growth within 48 hours of incubation. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (25.5%) was the most frequent gram negative bacteria isolated, whereas gram positive bacteria commonly isolated was Staphylococcus aureus (13.7%). Twenty (6.7%) patients were HIV positive with a median CD4+ count of 350 cells/μl. Mycological investigation was not performed. Bony involvement was radiologically reported in 83.0% of cases. Histopathological examination performed in 56 patients revealed malignancy in 20 (35.7%) patients, of which malignant melanoma (45.0%) was the most common histopathological type. The vast majority of patients, 270 (90.0%) were treated surgically, and surgical debridement was the most common surgical procedure performed in 24.1% of cases. Limb amputation rate was 8.7%. Postoperative complication rate was 58.3% of which surgical site infection (77.5%) was the most common post-operative complications. The median length of hospital stay was 23 days. Mortality rate was 4.3%. Out of the two hundred and eighty-seven (95.7%) survivors, 253 (91.6%) were treated successfully and discharged well (healed). After discharge, only 35.5% of cases were available for follow up at the end of study period.
Chronic lower limb ulcers remain a major public health problem in this part of Tanzania. The majority of patients in our environment present late when the disease is already in advanced stages. Early recognition and aggressive treatment of the acute phase of chronic lower limb ulcers at the peripheral hospitals and close follow-up are urgently needed to improve outcomes of these patients in our environment.
PMCID: PMC3507740  PMID: 23020814
Chronic lower limb ulcers; Patterns; Treatment outcome; Predictors of outcome; Tanzania
18.  Efficacy of single dose of gentamicin in combination with metronidazole versus multiple doses for prevention of post-caesarean infection: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:89.
Caesarean section is a commonly performed operation worldwide. It has been found to increase rates of maternal infectious morbidities more than five times when compared to vaginal delivery. Provision of intravenous prophylactic antibiotics 30 to 60 minutes prior to caesarean section has been found to reduce post-caesarean infection tremendously. Many centers recommend provision of a single dose of antibiotics, as repeated doses offer no benefit over a single dose.
At Bugando Medical Centre post caesarean infection is among the top five causes of admission at the post-natal ward. Unfortunately, there is no consistent protocol for the administration of antibiotic prophylaxis to patients who are designated for caesarean section. Common practice and generally the clinician’s preference are to provide repeated dosages of antibiotic prophylaxis after caesarean section to most of the patients. This study aims to determine the comparative efficacy of a single dose of gentamicin in combination with metronidazole versus multiple doses for prevention of post caesarean infection.
The study is an interventional, open-label, two-armed, randomized, single-center study conducted at Bugando Medical Centre Mwanza, Tanzania. It is an ongoing trial for the period of seven months; 490 eligible candidates will be enrolled in the study. Study subjects will be randomly allocated into two study arms; “A” and “B”. Candidates in “A” will receive a single dose of gentamicin in combination with metronidazole 30 to 60 minutes prior to the operation and candidates in “B” will receive the same drugs prior to the operation and continue with gentamicin and metronidazole for 24 hours. The two groups will be followed up for a period of one month and assessed for signs and symptoms of surgical site infection.
Data will be extracted from a case record form and entered into Epi data3.1 software before being transferred to SPSS version 17.0 for analysis. The absolute difference in proportion of women who develop surgical site infection in the two study arms will be the effectiveness of one regime over the other.
Trial registration
Current Controlled TrialsISRCTN44462542.
PMCID: PMC3475059  PMID: 22720689
Post-caesarean infection; Metronidazole; Gentamicin; Mwanza; Tanzania
19.  Confirmed malaria cases among children under five with fever and history of fever in rural western Tanzania 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:359.
The World Health Organization recommends that malaria treatment should begin with parasitological diagnosis. This will help to control misuse of anti-malarial drugs in areas with low transmission. The present study was conducted to assess the prevalence of parasitologically confirmed malaria among children under five years of age presenting with fever or history of fever in rural western Tanzania. A finger prick blood sample was obtained from each child, and thin and thick blood smears were prepared, stained with 10% Giemsa and examined under the light microscope. A structured questionnaire was used to collect each patient's demographic information, reasons for coming to the health center; and a physical examination was carried out on all patients. Fever was defined as axillary temperature ≥ 37.5°C.
A total of 300 children with fever or a history of fever (1 or 2 weeks) were recruited, in which 54.3% (163/300, 95%CI, 48.7-59.9) were boys. A total of 76 (76/300, 25.3%, 95%CI, 22.8 - 27.8) of the children had fever. Based on a parasitological diagnosis of malaria, only 12% (36/300, 95%CI, 8.3-15.7) of the children had P. falciparum infection. Of the children with P. falciparum infection, 52.7% (19/36, 95%CI, 47.1-58.3) had fever and the remaining had no fever. The geometrical mean of the parasites was 708.62 (95%CI, 477.96-1050.62) parasites/μl and 25% (9/36, 95%CI, 10.9 -- 39.1) of the children with positive P. falciparum had ≥ 1001 parasites/μl. On Univariate (OR = 2.13, 95%CI, 1.02-4.43, P = 0.044) and multivariate (OR = 2.15, 95%CI, 1.03-4.49) analysis, only children above one year of age were associated with malaria infections.
Only a small proportion of the children under the age of five with fever had malaria, and with a proportion of children having non-malaria fever. Improvement of malaria diagnostic and other causes of febrile illness may provide effective measure in management of febrile illness in malaria endemic areas.
PMCID: PMC3180709  PMID: 21914203
Fever; history of fever; parasitological diagnosis; western Tanzania
20.  Comparison of transformation frequencies among selected Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 
Although there are over 90 serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae, antimicrobial resistance is predominantly found in a limited number of serotypes/serogroups, namely 6, 9, 14, 19 and 23. There is no compelling mechanism to account for this restriction. We aimed to determine whether serotypes commonly associated with drug resistance have higher transformation frequencies than those that are susceptible to antimicrobial agents. An in vitro investigation of the genetic transformation frequency of drug-resistant serotypes compared with that of susceptible serotypes under the influence of synthetic competence-stimulating peptides was performed. The transforming DNA was genomic DNA carrying a Tn916-like transposon containing the mefE gene that confers resistance to erythromycin. It was observed that serotypes 6, 9, 14, 19 and 23, which are highly associated with drug resistance, do not exhibit a higher degree of transformation efficiency than other serotypes. These findings suggest that the association of serotype with drug resistance is likely due to prolonged exposure to transforming DNA resulting from longer nasopharyngeal carriage and to a greater selective pressure from antimicrobials, particularly in children. This is the first study to compare the transformation frequencies of pneumococcal clinical isolates using genomic DNA that carries the composite Tn916-like element.
PMCID: PMC2902549  PMID: 20472405
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Drug-resistant serotypes/serogroups; Transformation frequency; Tn916 transposon; mefE gene

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