Background: Studies on prevalence of acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs) exclusively on the infant population in India, and their association with mode of delivery are lacking. Aims and objectives: To assess the incidence of ARTIs in infants aged <12 months and to delineate its association with the mode of delivery (cesarean and vaginal). We also evaluated the antibiotic use for management of ARTIs in the study population. Study design: This single-center retrospective analysis was carried out in a private hospital (Cloudnine Hospitals) in Karnataka, India, over a period of 12 years from 2007 to July 2019. Participants: The study included 51,850 infants up to 1 year of age who were outpatients or admitted to the hospital with infections. Intervention: In this retrospective study, infection type, mode of delivery, and antibiotic use were recorded. Outcomes: Both upper and lower respiratory tract infections (URTI and LRTI) were observed. Mode of delivery recorded included both cesarean and vaginal, and some infants received antibiotics for ARTI treatment. Results: Higher prevalence of cesarean mode of delivery (71%) was recorded, which was associated with a higher incidence of ARTIs, compared to vaginal delivery (5,648 vs 2,420). Among the ARTI patients, antibiotics were prescribed to 2,635 (21.7%) infants. The commonly prescribed antibiotics were penicillin-type and aminoglycoside antibiotics. Conclusion: The incidence of ARTIs in infants was 23.4%, with URTIs being more prevalent than LRTIs. The prevalence of cesarean delivery was found to be highest and was associated with a higher incidence of ARTIs. Use of antibiotics was observed in 21.7% of infants with ARTIs.
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