Antimicrobial Resistance of Sterile Site Infections in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

Meklit Workneh, Morgan J. Katz, Mohammed Lamorde, Sara E. Cosgrove, Yukari C. Manabe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Sparse data exist from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) on the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). A prior review of antimicrobial resistance in SSA from 1990 to 2013 showed a high prevalence of AMR to commonly used antibiotics in this setting. We reviewed the literature published since 2013. Four databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane, and African Journals Online) were searched for articles between February 2013 and March 2016 with a focus on sterile site infections (bacteremia, urinary tract infections [UTIs], and meningitis). We focused on the original World Health Organization-identified priority pathogens and antibiotics, prior to the release of the most recently updated and expanded list in 2017. There were 19 eligible studies: bacteremia (12), UTI (6), and meningitis (1). Eight studies were from Western and Central Africa, 8 from Eastern Africa, and 4 from Southern Africa. Prevalence of Escherichia coli resistance to third-generation cephalosporins ranged from 0% to 75%. No studies reported resistance to carbapenems among Klebsiella spp. Prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistance ranged from 8.3% to 100% among E. coli and 0% to 15% among Salmonella spp. Prevalence of resistance to penicillin among Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates ranged from 25% to 100%. Testing for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase was reported in 7 studies (range, 1.3-60% among tested isolates). Methods for evaluating AMR varied across studies; standardized approaches are needed in the region. Testing for mechanisms of resistance is low even in research settings, but important mechanisms of resistance such as ESBL production are present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofx209
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • antibacterial agents
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • microbial susceptibility tests
  • review
  • sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology


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