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Volume 39, Number 3, June 2006

Bacteriology and antibiotic susceptibility of community-acquired intra-abdominal infection in children

Wei-Jen Lin, Wen-Tsung Lo, Chih-Chun Chu, Mong-Ling Chu, Chih-Chien Wang
Department of Pediatrics and Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

Received: June 3, 2005    Revised: September 21, 2005    Accepted: October 6, 2005   


Corresponding author:

Chih-Chien Wang, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, No. 325 Cheng-Kung Rd., Sec. 2, Neihu 114, Taipei, Taiwan. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

Intra-abdominal infection can be a life-threatening condition in children, and aggressive treatment is usually needed. The treatment should include surgical correction and drainage, and administration of antimicrobials that are effective against both aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. This study investigated the microbiological characteristics of intra-abdominal infection of children in Taiwan.




Data for bacterial specimens from 113 children (64 males), aged from 9 months to 18 years, who had community-acquired intra-abdominal infections at our hospital during a 10-year period were analyzed.




In total, 113 specimens were collected, including those with only aerobes (62%), and those with mixed aerobic and anaerobic species (35%). A total of 239 aerobes and 86 anaerobes were isolated. Polymicrobial infection was found in 79% of specimens. The predominant aerobe was Escherichia coli (42%), and Bacteroides fragilis (36%) was the most frequently isolated anaerobic microorganism. Enterococcus was detected in about 14% of Gram-positive aerobic isolates. Review of the results of antibiotic susceptibility testing revealed that the Gram-positive aerobes, apart from staphylococci, had a high susceptibility rate to ampicillin, and 84% of Gram-negative aerobes were susceptible to gentamicin. In addition, B. fragilis showed a high resistance rate to clindamycin (52%) but all of these isolates were susceptible to metronidazole.




Triple antibiotic combination therapy including ampicillin, gentamicin and metronidazole remains an alternative empirical antibiotic therapy for pediatric patients with mild to moderate community-acquired intra-abdominal infection.



Key words:

Abdominal abscess, bacteriology, community-acquired infection, drug resistance, microbial sensitivity tests



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2006;39:249-254.