Emerging carbapenem resistance in ESKAPE organisms in sub-Saharan Africa and the way forward

Authors: John Njeru

Ger. J. Microbiol. 2021. vol. 1, Iss. 1 pp:3-6
Doi: https://doi.org/10.51585/gjm.2021.002


The epidemiology of Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species (ESKAPE) and their role in the development and spread of multidrug resistance (MDR) is not well characterized in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Carbapenems possess a broad spectrum of activity and are often reserved for the treatment of MDR infections in developed countries. However, the emergence of carbapenem resistance is increasingly being reported and therefore presents a significant public health threat. Although carbapenems are generally unavailable in African hospitals due to high cost, a small number of studies have reported the occurrence of carbapenem-resistant bacteria (CRB) in SSA. This, therefore, shows that carbapenem resistance (CR) is emerging in Africa. Thus, there is a critical need for deploying robust national and regional multidisciplinary, collaborative, and regulatory approaches aiming at elucidating the epidemiology of CR, its burden on the health care system, and strategies for compacting the development and spread of CR. This report hopes to highlight the epidemiology of carbapenem resistance and the main drivers of antibiotic resistance in SSA and proposes future strategies that can be used to combat the emergence of carbapenem resistance in the region.


Carbapenem resistance, Multidrug resistance, β-lactamases, Antibiotics


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