Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Lupine Publishers| Prevalence of Staphylococcus Aureus among Children Diagonosed with Acute Diarrhea in Kano, Nigeria

 Lupine Publishers| Journal of Material Science


The burden of diarrheal disease is most critical in developing countries, facilitated by unsafe water supplies, poor sanitation, and nutritional deficiencies. The research was aimed to study the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus among children diagnosed with acute diarrhea in Kura General Hospital Kano, Nigeria. Fecal specimens were collected in clean, dry and leak proof sterile bottle from 58 child patients (ranges from 1-5 years) admitted to Kura General Hospital and diagnosed with acute diarrhea from period of March to August 2017. The isolates were isolated and identified using Gram staining, Biochemical test (Catalase, Coagulase and DNase test), Mannitol fermentation and haemolysis test. The result showed that 34 samples out of 58 were positive for S. aureus. Higher incidence was found among males (20 subjects which accounted for 59%) than female with total of 14 subjects accounted for 41%. Highest frequency of diarrhea infection is found among subject with age between 1-2 years and more male (53%) were infected than female (47%). Statistical analysis of the result showed that there is no considerable statistical difference on prevalence of S. aureus among sex group and age categories of the subject at p<0.05. It is recommended that proper environmental sanitation, good personal hygiene and complete immunization against diarrhea disease are recommended.

Keywords:Acute diarrhea; children; prevalence; Staphylococcus aureus


Over 1.7 billion cases of diarrheal infection are reported every year and these are associated with about 2.2 million deaths annually [1]. The burden of the disease is most severe and critical in a developing country which is facilitated by poor sanitation, unsafe water supply and nutritional deficiencies. Diarrhea may be infectious or non-infectious. It can be infectious when caused by bacteria, virus or parasite. Bacteria are one of the major causative agents of food illness such as diarrhea and accounted for about 60% of cases requiring hospitalization [2]. The global impact of foodborne illness is difficult to assess. However, it has been estimated that about 2.1 million children die due to diarrhea related in developing countries annually. It has been reported that water and food are the vehicle of diarrhea related illness [1]. Due to biological nature of food, it is capable of supplying consumer with nutrients, and hence, equally capable of supporting the growth of contaminating organisms. Three types of bacterial foodborne diseases are recognized: intoxications, infections, and toxico-infections. The foodborne bacterial intoxication is caused as result of ingesting food containing bacterial toxins and such toxins are produced by organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium botulinum, resulting from bacterial growth in the food. According to Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), Diarrhea is defined as the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day. The diarrhea can be further classified by the duration of the symptoms [3]. Patients diagnosed with acute diarrhea shows symptoms lasting less than 14 days. Those showing symptoms for more than 14 days or 1 month are said to have persistent diarrhea.

Those having diarrhea for more than 30 days are said to have chronic diarrhea.

Staphylococcus aureus is gram positive bacteria, spherical in shape (cocci) mostly occur in singles, tetrads and irregular grape like cluster. It is the only strain that produce enterotoxins that can cause food poisoning. The food handler with lesion or carriage may initiate infection [4,5]. The species are host adapted with most of the known species inhibiting humans and other animals. These species are found in large number near opening of the body surfaces such as the anterior nares, inguinal and perineal areas. There are six types of enterotoxins produced serologically by S. aureus. These include enterotoxin A, B, C1, C2, D and E and they differ in their toxicity. Most food poisoning is caused by enterotoxin A followed by D. These enterotoxins are heat stable, with type B being most heat resistant. Enterotoxin stimulates Central Nervous Systems (CNS) vomiting center and inhibit water and sodium absorption in the small intestine. Staphylococcal enterotoxins, along with the toxic syndrome toxin and others, are classed as bacterial super antigens relative to in vivo antigen recognition in contrast to conventional antigens [6]. Food poisoning by S. aureus is characterized by a short incubation period typically 2-4 hours. The onset is sudden and is characterized by vomiting and diarrhea but no fever. The illness lasts less than 12 hours. In severe cases dehydration, masked pallor and collapse may require treatment (intravenously) infusion. The short incubation periods are the characteristics of intoxication where illness is the results of ingestion of the preformed toxin in the food [7]. The research was aimed to study the prevalence of S. aureus among children diagnosed with acute diarrhea in Kura General Hospital Kano, Nigeria.

Materials and Methods

Ethical approval

Ethical approval (with reference no. BHM/GEN/488/VOL.1) for the study was obtained from Kano State Hospital Management Board (HMB) based on the consent of Kura General Hospital ethical committee.

Study area

The samples for the study were collected at Kura General Hospital in Kura local Government area of Kano State, Nigeria. It is located at a distance of about 35 kilometer south west from the state capital. Kura is located at Latitude 110 46’17” N and Longitude 80 25’ 49” E. It covers an area of about 206 Km2 of land and population of about 144,601 according to 2006 census [8]. Kura local government share common boundaries with Dawakinkude (East), Garun-mallam (West), Madobi (North) and Bunkure (South) [8].

Sample Collection

Fecal specimens were collected in clean, dry and leak proof sterile bottle from 58 child patients (ranges from 1-5 years) admitted to Kura General Hospital and diagnosed with acute diarrhea from period of March to August 2017. The specimens were immediately transported to Microbiology Laboratory in the Department of Microbiology, Kano University of Science and Technology Wudil for isolation and identification of S. aureus.

Isolation of S. aureus

A sterile wire loop was deep into the fecal sample of the patients and streaked onto the surface of Nutrient agar (Life save Biotech, USA), using standard method described by of Prescott et al. [9]. This procedure was applied for each of the sample and the plates were incubated at 370 C for 24 hours. The presumptive colonies of S. aureus on the plates were further sub-cultured to obtained pure culture. The pure isolates of S. aureus were preserved for further bacterial identification.

Bacterial Identification

The bacteria isolated were confirmed as S. aureus by conventional microbiological methods namely; Gram staining, biochemical test (such as catalase, coagulase and DNase test), mannitol and haemolysis test. Gram staining was done according to the methods described by Chessbrough [10]. Catalase, Coagulase and DNase test were done according to the method described by Holt et al. [11] and Cheesbrough [10]. Mannitol fermentation and haemolysis test was done according to the method described by Holt et al. [11].

Gram Staining

Gram staining was done according to method described by Cheesbrough [10]. A thin smear was made by emulsifying an overnight culture of the isolate in normal saline on a well labeled clean glass slide. The smear was air dried and fixed by heat. This is followed by flooding the slide with crystal violet as primary stain for 30 seconds and then rinsed the slide with distilled water. The smear was flooded with Lugol’s iodine as a mordant to fix the primary stain and then rinsed with distilled water after 60 seconds. The slide was decolorized using acetone and rinsed immediately. Counter stain with safranin followed and left for 30 before being rinsed off. The stain smear was air dried and observed under microscope.

Biochemical Tests

Catalase test

Catalase test was conducted using procedure described by Holt et al. [11]. A drop of 3% hydrogen peroxide was placed on a clean glass slide. An overnight culture of the isolate was picked using sterile wire loop and placed on the drop of the hydrogen peroxide; presence of bubbles observed indicated a positive catalase test.

Coagulase test

Three drops of blood plasma were placed on clean and greasefree slide. A colony of the isolate was picked by means of sterile wire loop from incubated Nutrient agar plate. The coony was emulsified in the blood plasma and observed for clot formation [11].

DNase test

Deoxyribonuclease agar medium was prepared according to manufacturer’s instructions. An overnight over night broth culture of the isolate was spot inoculated on the surface of the medium and incubated at 370C for 24 hours. At the end of the incubation period, the agar surface was flooded with 1N hydrochloric acid and excess drained off [10].

Bacteriological analysis

The pure isolate obtained on Nutrient agar medium was picked using sterile wire loop and inoculate on the surface of Mannitol salt agar and blood agar (Lifesave Biotech, USA) and incubated at 370C for 24 hours. The changes in color of the medium from pink to yellow indicated positive results [11].

Statistical analysis

The prevalence of S. aureus isolates between sex and age categories was compared by using the Chi-square test (SPSS Version 19). Differences between the prevalence rates were considered significant when p<0.05.


Demographic distribution of patients

The demographic distribution of child patients diagnosed with acute diarrhea is presented in (Table 1). A total of 58 subjects (31 male and 27 female) were considered in the study. The age distribution of the subjects ranged from 1-5 years. Highest frequency is found among subject with age between 1-2 years.

Table 1:Demographic distribution of child patients diagnosed with acute diarrheap>


Identification of S. aureus

The identification of S. aureus from the fecal samples of the subjects is presented in the table below (Table 2). The S. aureus was identified using Gram staining, biochemical test and Mannitol fermentation test. Result showed that the isolates were positive for Gram staining, catalase, coagulase, DNase and Mannitol fermentation test. The isolates showed β-haemolysis on blood agar plates.

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