Shigella and Salmonella strains isolated from children under 5 years in Gaborone, Botswana, and their antibiotic susceptibility patterns
We isolated Shigella from 43/221 (21%) and Salmonella 8/221 (3%) rectal swabs from children under 5 years with diarrhoea, and found Shigella in two of 100 specimens from children without diarrhoea. Sh. boydii (13%) was the most prevalent Shigella species followed by Sh. flexneri (6%) and Sh. sonnei (2%). The prevalence of various types of Sh. boydii was type 7, 5%; type 9, 3%; type 12 and 16, 2%; and type 18, 1%. Other Shigella serotypes encountered were Sh. flexneri type 6 (4%), type 4 (2%), with Sh. sonnei phase II isolated from 2% of the specimens. The Salmonella species were S. typhimurium and S. paratyphi. The high rate of isolation of Shigella species from children with diarrhoea is indicative of a definite role of this enteropathogen in causing endemic diarrhoea in Gaborone, Botswana. Antibiograms of the predominant isolates showed that most Shigella species were resistant to ampicillin but susceptible to chloramphenicol, and with the exception of Sh. flexneri type 6, also susceptible to gentamicin. The Salmonella species were susceptible to chloramphenicol, collistin-sulphate, gentamicin, cotrimoxazole, and ampicillin.