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South African Study Tracks Community-Acquired Infection Detection, Treatment in Pediatric Patients

Also in PLOS One, researchers with Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital consider the culprits behind community-acquired infections in pediatric patients prospectively enrolled at a hospital in South Africa's Western Cape province from May 2015 to November of that year. Using PCR tests, stool antigen analyses, and/or microscopy, culture, and susceptibility testing on blood culture, urine, stool, and cerebrospinal fluid samples, the team detected community-acquired infections in 364 of the 451 children tested, including pneumonia, gastroenteritis, bloodstream infections, or HIV infections. Along with the most informative fluid samples, the authors looked at the treatment strategies used, the cost associated with them, and outcomes for the pediatric patients. "There is a need to produce local guidelines that emphasize judicious use of laboratory investigations to most effectively utilize the limited healthcare resources available in our middle-income country setting," the authors write, noting that "community-acquired pneumonia and [GE] were leading contributors to [community-acquired infection] cost" in the current study.