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1.  Aetiological agents of cerebrospinal meningitis: a retrospective study from a teaching hospital in Ghana 
Abstracts
Background
Meningitis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in low-resource settings. In sub-Saharan Africa, the meningitis belt has been characterized by particularly high and seasonal incidences of bacterial meningitis extending throughout life. Despite the progress being made in treating the condition, the mortality rates continue to be high, ranging between 2% and 30% globally. In Ghana, the mortality rate of meningitis has been estimated to range from 36% to 50%. However little information is available on the pathogens contributing to meningitis and their antimicrobial susceptibilities. Updated information is essential to adjust the recommendations for empirical treatment or prevention of meningitis which could have immense implications for local and global health.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed laboratory records of all patients suspected of bacterial meningitis who underwent a lumbar puncture from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010. Data were retrieved from laboratory record books and double entered into a Microsoft® excel spreadsheet.
Results
Records of 4,955 cerebrospinal fluid samples were analysed. Of these, 163 (3.3%, 95%CI: 2.8% to 3.8%) were confirmed meningitis and 106 (2.1%, 95%CI: 1.7% to 2.6%) were probable meningitis cases. Confirmed meningitis cases were made up of 117 (71.8%) culture positive bacteria, 19 (11.7%) culture positive Cryptococcus neoformans and 27(16.6%) Gram positive bacteria with negative culture. The most prevalent bacteria was Streptococcus pneumoniae 91 (77.7%), followed by E.coli 4 (3.4%), Salmonella species 4 (3.4%), Neisseria meningitidis 3 (2.5%), Pseudomonas species 3(2.5%) and others. Pneumococcal isolates susceptibility to penicillin, chloramphenicol and ceftriaxone were 98.9% (95%CI: 94.0% to 100.0%), 83.0% (95%CI: 73.4% to 90.1%) and 100.0% (95%CI: 95.8% to 100.0%) respectively.
Conclusion
Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important cause of meningitis among all age groups and its susceptibility to penicillin and ceftriaxone still remains very high. Ghanaians of all ages and possibly other developing countries in the meningitis belt could benefit from the use of the pneumococcal vaccine. Other bacterial and fungal pathogens should also be considered in the management of patients presenting with meningitis.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-28
PMCID: PMC3473245  PMID: 23035960
Meningitis; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Cryptococcus neoformans; Ghana
2.  Gastrointestinal and urinary tract pathogenic infections among HIV seropositive patients at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:454.
Background
Gastrointestinal and urinary tract pathogenic infections are aggravating the incidence and progression of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) more especially in the developing countries. This study was conducted to assess the common gastrointestinal and urinary infections among HIV/AIDS patients at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Ghana between April and December 2008.
Findings
This work reports on gastrointestinal and urinary tract pathogenic infections among 500 HIV seropositive and 300 HIV seronegative patients. There was a 35% (175/500) prevalence of intestinal parasites among HIV seropositive patients compared to 4.3% (13/300) in HIV seronegative patients. Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium accounted for 19% (95/500) and 14% (70/500) respectively, while Schistosoma mansoni, Strongyloides stercoralis and hookworm together accounted for 2% (10/500) of intestinal parasitic infections among the HIV seropositive patients. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in urinary parasitic infection between HIV seropositive 1% (2/500) and seronegative patients 0.7% (2/300). Most, 60 (86%) out of 70, of the urinary tract infection among the HIV seropositive patients was due to bacteria with E. coli being the most predominant isolate, 28 (47%) out of 60. There was no significant difference in infections based on age and gender.
Conclusion
G. lamblia and Cryptosporidium were the most common gastrointestinal parasites detected while bacteria accounted for majority of the urinary tract infections among the HIV seropositive patients at the hospital.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-454
PMCID: PMC3532144  PMID: 22909315
HIV/AIDS; Giardia lamblia; Cryptosporidium; Parasitic infection

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