Community-acquired soft-tissue pyogenic abscesses in Mulago hospital, Kampala: Bacteria isolated and antibiotic sensitivity|
Ongom, P.A.; Obuku, E.A. & Achan, B.
Background: Clinical practice, for a long time, has dwelt on study and management of pyogenic
abscesses without distinction between nosocomial and community-acquired types. This study aimed at
identifying the bacteria isolated from community-acquired acute subcutaneous and soft tissue pyogenic
abscesses. It also determined their sensitivity to a wide range of antibiotics.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted in Mulago hospital, between August and December,
2011. Consecutive, convenient sampling was used to attain a sample size of 130 subjects, with all age
groups eligible. They were treated for the abscesses by incision and drainage. The pus was subjected to
bacterial culturing and drug sensitivity testing. Data was analysed using STATA version 11.2.
Results: The median age was 21.6 years; with females constituting 43.9%, and 10.8% were HIV positive
persons. The predominant organism isolated was Staphylococcus aureus (53.9%), followed by coliform
organisms (14-1%). Mixed infections, mostly with Staphylococcus aureus, constituted 8.6%.
Staphylococcus aureus was most susceptible to ciprofloxacin and showed greatest resistance to
chloramphenicol. Coliform organisms were most susceptible amikacin and showed greatest resistance to
Conclusions: The predominant bacterium isolated from these pyogenic abscesses is Staphylococcus
aureus. It is most susceptible to ciprofloxacin and resistant to chloramphenicol. There is benefit in
conducting a larger study with more antibiotic sensitivity tests and specific bacterial type identification.
Recommendations can then be made for appropriate antibiotic policies.