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Keywords:

  • Ceftriaxone;
  • enterocolitis;
  • non-typhoidal Salmonella

Aim: To evaluate the clinical efficacy of a short-course ceftriaxone therapy in the treatment of paediatric patients with severe non-typhoidal Salmonella enterocolitis. Methods: During a 1 y period, all paediatric patients who were suspected having Salmonella enterocolitis by the presentation of bloody and/or mucoid diarrhoea with or without fever were eligible for the study. Patients with either negative stool cultures or bacteraemia were excluded. Severe enterocolitis was defined as a bloody and/or mucoid diarrhoea associated with high fever persisting for longer than 48 h and signs of moderate or severe dehydration. The patients with severe enterocolitis were assigned to treatment with ceftriaxone (50 mg kg−1 d−1) for 3–5 d, while the rest were given supportive treatment only. Before treatment all study patients received blood testing for white blood cell (WBC) count, C-reactive protein (CRP) level and blood culture. The duration of the fevers was recorded. Patients were followed up after clinical recovery for the possibility of relapse. Results: Seventy-three patients with culture-confirmed Salmonella enterocolitis without bacteraemia were analysed. The duration of fever was longer in severe cases who were treated with ceftriaxone than those who were not. However, rapid defervescene was found after short-course ceftriaxone therapy in those patients with severe enterocolitis. CRP was significantly higher in severe cases. There was no significant difference in the WBC count between the two groups of patients. No relapse was found in these patients.

Conclusion: High CRP, prolonged high fever and signs of moderate or severe dehydration appear appropriate to define severe cases of Salmonella enterocolitis. Short-course ceftriaxone therapy is clinically beneficial to these patients. Neither clinical nor microbiological relapse was seen after therapy.