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Serratia Marcescens outbreak on a general pediatric ward in Benin


The consequences of infections with Serratia marcescens can be severe, so strategies for prevention are important.


Our study aimed to examine the resistance in this bacterium and the main factors increasing the risk of cross contamination.


6-months surveillance was conducted in the pediatric unit in Benin, from June 15th to December 15th, 2009.We examined various specimenobtained from hospitalized children and 940 samples taken from hands of medical personnel, and various hospital surfaces for Serratia marcescens presence. Susceptibilities against antimicrobial agents were tested by the disk diffusion method according to NCCLS guidelines.Aggressive infection control measures were instituted.


324/790 (41%) patients were studied; 123 (39%) were infected bySerratia marcescens, including septicaemia 65 (52,8%). 121 children were colonized 1 month later after admission. From hospital environment, 108/940 (11,50%) isolates were obtained. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed 56 % strains displaying multiresistance. Comparison of resistance patterns in isolates blood cultures with those from hands of personnel showed similitude in 92% of cases. Infected patients were cohorted and placed on contact precautions. Investigation by the infection control team revealed that the distributors of antiseptic were the main path of Serratia marcescens dissemination.


New infection control policies and engineering plans were initiated on the basis of our results. Antimicrobial resistance is particularly harmful to infectious disease management in low-income countries since expensive second-line drugs are not readily available.

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None declared.


Also presented as P349.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ahoyo, T., Adeoti, M., Attolou, A. et al. Serratia Marcescens outbreak on a general pediatric ward in Benin. BMC Proc 5 (Suppl 6), P299 (2011).

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  • Infection Control
  • Serratia Marcescens
  • Disk Diffusion Method
  • Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing
  • Infection Control Measure