Malaria parasitaemia is an important predictor of bacteremia, concomitant invasive bacterial infections and malaria parasitaemia are strongly associated with death.
Blood samples were collected from 500 patients (281 males and 219 females) with fevers of unknown origin. The blood samples were processed to diagnose malaria and bacterial septicaemia using standard microbiological techniques.
The prevalence of concomitant bacterial septicaemia and malaria parasitaemia was 7.8%. The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia alone (26.2%) was significantly (P
< 0.0001) higher than that of bacterial septicaemia (13%). Patients 61 years old and older had higher prevalences of malaria parasitaemia, bacterial septicaemia, and concomitant infections. The most prevalent organism causing bacterial septicaemia were of the Klebsiella
species, while ceftriaxone and ceftazidime were the most effective antibacterial agents.
Overall prevalence of malaria parasitaemia, septicaemia and concomitant malaria parasitaemia, and bacterial septicaemia were 26.2%, 13%, and 7.8%, respectively. Bacteria from the Klebsiella
species were the most common bacteria causing septicaemia. Although ceftriaxone and ceftazidime are the recommended treatments, there is need for urgent treatment of concomitant infections due to their poor prognosis.