Low Bacteremia Prevalence Among Febrile Children in Areas of Differing Malaria Transmission in Rural Kenya: A Cross-Sectional Study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (2015)


BACKGROUND: With malaria declining, other causes of fever may account for a substantial portion of severe childhood illness in sub-Saharan Africa. We determined prevalence, etiologies, and correlates of bacteremia among children in Western Kenya.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, febrile children aged 6 months to 15 years presenting to Kisii (low malaria endemicity) and Homabay (high malaria endemicity) Hospitals were enrolled and screened for malaria, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and bacteremia. Correlates of bacteremia were evaluated using logistic regression.

RESULTS: Among 1476 children enrolled, 48 (3.3%) had bacteremia (23 of 734, 3.1% in Kisii and 25 of 734, 3.4% in Homabay). Salmonella spp (19 typhi and 21 nontyphoidal salmonella) accounted for 83% (40 of 48) of isolates. The distribution of Salmonella spp was similar between sites. Bacteremia was associated with incomplete vaccination (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-4.1), before treatment with antimalarials (aOR = 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4-4.1), having sought care elsewhere (aOR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2-4.0) and lower education of caregiver (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1-4.8). Nontyphoidal salmonella bacteremia was associated with HIV (aOR = 6.8; 95% CI, 1.1-35.1) and anemia (hemoglobin <8 g/dL) (aOR = 5.2; 95% CI, 1.4-18.9).

CONCLUSIONS: Bacteremia was relatively uncommon, but children with HIV, anemia, incomplete vaccination, and/or persistent fever despite malaria treatment may have higher risk and may benefit from targeted bacterial culture and/or empiric antibiotic therapy.