Surveillance and comparison of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of ESKAPE organisms isolated from patients with bacteraemia in South Africa, 2016 - 2017

H. Ismail, W. Lowman, C. N. Govind, K. Swe Swe-Han, M. R.B. Maloba, C. Bamford, O. Perovic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background. In South Africa (SA), the National Department of Health has developed an Antimicrobial Resistance National Strategy Framework document to manage antimicrobial resistance (AMR). One of the strategic objectives is to optimise surveillance and early detection of AMR. At the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), an analysis of selected organisms and antimicrobial agents from both the public and the private sectors was conducted. Objectives. The relevance of surveillance for AMR is increasingly recognised in the light of global action plans to combat resistance. In this report, we present an overview of ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp.) organisms and Escherichia coli reported from public and private sector laboratories in SA for the period 2016 - 2017. Methods. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) profiles on selected ESKAPE organisms and E. coli isolated from blood cultures from the public and private sectors in 2016 and 2017 were analysed. AST data were extracted from a web-based electronic platform created by the NICD. Drug-bug combinations following the World Health Organization's Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System guidelines were included in the analysis. Results. A total of 28 920 ESKAPE organisms and E. coli were reported in 2016 and 32 293 in 2017 across the two health sectors. Proportions of some organisms differed between the two health sectors, such as E. coli (19% in the public sector and 36% in the private sector), A. baumannii (14% public and 4% private), P. aeruginosa (7% public and 11% private) and S. aureus (27% public and 17% private). Susceptibility data indicated changing patterns in both sectors towards an increase in non-susceptibility to carbapenems in K. pneumoniae (p<0.01). However, we demonstrated an increase in susceptibility to cloxacillin in S. aureus (p<0.01) in both sectors. Conclusions. The key clinically important finding is the rapidly decreasing carbapenem susceptibility among Enterobacteriaceae reported in SA, irrespective of sector. In addition, the analysis provides information that could be used to monitor the effectiveness of interventions implemented at a national level under the guidance and direction of the national AMR framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-940
Number of pages7
JournalSouth African Medical Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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