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Antimicrobial resistance in human and animal pathogens in Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Tanzania: an urgent need of a sustainable surveillance system

Stephen E Mshana1*, Mecky Matee2 and Mark Rweyemamu3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology/Immunology Weill Bugando School of Medicine, CUHAS-Bugando, Mwanza, Tanzania

2 Department of Microbiology/Immunology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

3 Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania

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Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2013, 12:28  doi:10.1186/1476-0711-12-28

Published: 12 October 2013


A review of the published and unpublished literature on bacterial resistance in human and animals was performed. Sixty-eight articles/reports from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia were reviewed. The majority of these articles were from Tanzania. There is an increasing trend in the incidence of antibiotic resistance; of major concern is the increase in multidrug- resistant Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholera, non-typhoid Salmonella and other pathogens responsible for nosocomial infections. The increase in methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers in the countries under review confirms the spread of these clones worldwide. Clinical microbiology services in these countries need to be strengthened in order to allow a coordinated surveillance for antimicrobial resistance and provide data for local treatment guidelines and for national policies to control antimicrobial resistance. While the present study does not provide conclusive evidence to associate the increasing trend in antibiotic resistance in humans with the use of antibiotics in animals, either as feed additives or veterinary prescription, we strongly recommend a one-health approach of systematic surveillance across the public and animal health sectors, as well as the adherence to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)-OIE (World Organization of animal Health) –WHO(World Health Organization) recommendations for non-human antimicrobial usage.