BackgroundThe rise of Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) poses a considerable burden on the healthcare systems, particularly in low-middle income countries like Pakistan. There is a scarcity of data on the carriage of MDRO particularly in the pediatrics population therefore, we aimed to determine MDRO carriage in pediatric patients at the time of admission to a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, and to identify the risk factors associated with it.MethodsA cross-sectional study conducted at the pediatric department of Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) from May to September 2019 on 347 children aged 1–18 years. For identification of MDRO (i.e., Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) producers, Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE), Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter species and MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa), nasal swabs and rectal swabs or stool samples were cultured on specific media within 72 h of hospitalization. Data was collected on a predesigned structured questionnaire on demographics, prior use of antibiotics for > 48 h in the last 6 months, history of vaccination in last 6 months, exposure to health care facility regardless of the time of exposure, ICU stay for > 72 h, and about the prior use of medical devices (urinary catheter, central venous lines etc.) in last 1 year. Statistical analysis was performed by Standard statistical software.ResultsOut of 347 participants, 237 (68.3%) were found to be MDRO carriers. Forty nine nasal swabs from 346 children (14.2%) showed growth of MRSA. The majority of the stool/rectal swabs (n = 222 of 322; 69%) collected were positive for MDRO. The most isolated species were ESBL Escherichia coli 174/222 (78.3%) followed by ESBL Enterobacter species 37/222 (16.7%) and ESBL Klebsiella pneumoniae 35/222 (15.8%). On univariate analysis, none of the risk factors showed statistically significant association with MDRO carriage.ConclusionOverall, a high prevalence of MDRO carriage was identified among admitted pediatric patients. Implementation of systematic screening may help to identify true burden of MDROs carriage in the health care settings.