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Data, susceptibility testing and identification of microorganisms in the African context

Discussion of an article by Tadessa et al: In 2017, published a review article titled - Antimicrobial resistance in Africa: a systematic review.
Picture of Hospital associated Methicillin-resistant Stappylococcus aureus under the microscope stained green.
© “Hospital-Associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Bacteria” flickr photo by NIAID shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
A year later, In 2017, Tadesse et al. published a review article titled – Antimicrobial resistance in Africa: a systematic review.

The aim of their study was to understand and describe the current status of AMR in Africa in relation to common causes of infections and drugs recommended in WHO treatment guidelines.

Regional antibiotic resistance patterns

Generally, a lower level of resistance of S. aureus, Klebsiella spp., E. coli and S. pneumoniae to carbapenems and fluoroquinolones was observed in all the regions as compared to the other antibiotic-bacterium combinations.

However, Klebsiella spp. resistance to ciprofloxacin in West Africa was observed to be higher than in other regions.

Resistance to the trimethoprim (Median resistance[MR]: 33.9%–100%), ampicillin (MR: 7.9%–100%) and penicillin (MR: 0%–75%) was generally high in all regions.

The authors’ conclusions were:

  • First, more than a third of the countries on the continent did not have recent AMR data published in the public domain and only a few of those were surveillance data.

  • Second, a high level of drug resistance exists to commonly prescribed antibiotics in the African continent.

  • Third, the standardisation and quality of the microbiological identification and susceptibility testing methods needs to be improved to allow national and international organisations to monitor the extent of the AMR problem. All of the identified areas of concern need urgent attention by the global health community in order to halt the public health threat associated with spreading AMR.

This clearly shows that more work needs to be done in Africa.

Have a look at the CDDEP website below where you can view antibiotic resistance data by country and their main site which has many interesting news items.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship for Africa

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