Lessons from the Field

Stepwise approach for implementation of antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Africa

Olga Perovic, Constance Schultsz
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 5, No 3 | a482 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v5i3.482 | © 2016 Olga Perovic, Constance Schultsz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 May 2016 | Published: 31 October 2016

About the author(s)

Olga Perovic, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, National Health Laboratory Service and Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Constance Schultsz, Department of Global Health, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has reached an end point, prompting a worldwide scare as no new antibiotics are in the pipeline, particularly for treatment of Gram-negative bacteria. To prevent further development and spread of AMR and to inform empirical treatment guidelines, surveillance of AMR is necessary.

Objective: We aim to provide a framework for a stepwise approach toward implementation of laboratory-based surveillance for AMR in African countries.

Methods and Results: Building up a surveillance system is a robust process that begins with a gap analysis in each participating country. This framework provides practical guidance on how to set up surveillance, identify responsibilities and set timelines in sustainable manner for African countries. It addresses sampling strategies, human resources, procurement and maintenance issues for AMR testing at routine clinical and national reference and public health laboratories involved in AMR surveillance. Key issues such as laboratory capacity building, training and continuous education, quality and diagnostic stewardship are discussed in detail.

Discussion: There are several priorities for AMR surveillance that need to be addressed in a comprehensive manner at regional and national levels, whilst keeping in line with current and proposed initiatives for laboratory capacity building, in order for African countries to achieve goals for combatting the real and current threat of AMR.


Antimicrobial resistance; laboratory; surveillance


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Crossref Citations

1. Building knowledge and evidence base on antimicrobial resistance in Africa, through ‘One Health’ based surveillance
Philip Mathew, Collins Jaguga, Mirfin Mpundu, Sujith J. Chandy
Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health  vol: 8  issue: 1  first page: 313  year: 2020  
doi: 10.1016/j.cegh.2019.04.001