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Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of C-reactive protein (CRP) in predicting bacterial co-infection in patients hospitalized for bronchiolitis and to correlate the results with the use of antibiotics.
Patients and Methods: This is a prospective study that included patients diagnosed with bronchiolitis admitted to a tertiary care medical centre during the study period. A tracheal aspirate culture was taken from all patients with bronchiolitis. Blood was drawn to test C-reactive protein level, white cell count, transaminases level, and blood sugar level
Results: Fifty patients were enrolled in the study and were divided into two groups. Group 1 included patients with positive tracheal aspirate culture and Group 2 included those with negative culture. All patients with a CRP level ≥2 mg/dL have had bacterial co-infection. White cell count, transaminases and blood sugar levels were not predictive for bacterial co-infection
Conclusion: Bacterial co-infection is frequent in infants with moderate to severe bronchiolitis and requires admission. Our data showed that a CRP level greater than 1.1 mg/dL raised suspicion for bacterial co-infection. Thus, a tracheal aspirate should be investigated microbiologically in all hospitalized patients in order to avoid unnecessary antimicrobial therapy