Prevalence and predictors of prior antibacterial use among patients presenting to hospitals in Northern Uganda

Moses Ocan, Yukari C. Manabe, Hannington Baluku, Esther Atukwase, Jasper Ogwal-Okeng, Celestino Obua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Human antibacterial exposure occur in different ways including consumption of animal and agricultural products as well as use of prescribed and non-prescribed agents. We estimated the prevalence and explored the predictors of antibacterial use among patients presenting to hospitals in northern Uganda. Methods: Four hundred fifty (450) patients were randomly selected and antibacterial use prior to hospital visit measured using a questionnaire and urine antibacterial activity assay. Urine antibacterial bioassays were performed using American type culture collections of Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and Streptococcus pyogenes. Data were analysed using STATA 12.0 at 95 % confidence level. Results: Of 450 patients interviewed, 62.2 % had used antibacterial agents. Urine antibacterial activity was detected in 30.4 % of the samples tested. Of the 85 patients who reported not taking any antibacterial at home, 16 (18.8 %) had urine with antibacterial activity. Most test bacteria, E. coli (74.5 %), B. subtilis (72.6 %) and S. pyogens (86.7 %) were sensitive to urine of patients who reported using antibacterial drugs before hospital visit. From the interview, metronidazole 15.6 % (70/450), amoxicillin 12 % (54/450), and ciprofloxacin 10.4 % (47/450) were the most used antibacterial agents. Patient age (OR, 2.45: 95 % CI: 1.02-5.91: P=0.024), time-lag between last drug intake and hospital visit (OR: 3.18: 95 % CI: 1.44-7.0: P<0.0001), and time-lag between illness onset and hospital visit (OR: 1.89: 95 % CI: 0.38-5.1: P=0.027) predicted the use of antibacterial agents before hospital visit. Discussion: Community antibacterial use continues to take place in an unregulated manner. In addition, physiciansrarely seek to ascertain prior use of antibacterial agents among patients presenting to hospitals. This couldhave a bearing on patient treatment outcomes. Conclusion: Knowledge of prior antibacterial use among patients presenting to hospitals is useful to physicians in ensuring antibacterial stewardship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalBMC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 25 2015


  • Antibacterial
  • Northern Uganda
  • Self-medication
  • Self-report
  • Urine antibacterial bioassay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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