University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cambridge-Africa Programme > Microbiology and bugs in sub-Saharan Africa: elephant in the room? (King's/Cambridge-Africa Seminar)

Microbiology and bugs in sub-Saharan Africa: elephant in the room? (King's/Cambridge-Africa Seminar)

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  • UserProfessor Samuel Kariuki, International Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute; Director, Centre for Microbiology Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Nairobi, Kenya
  • ClockTuesday 06 May 2014, 18:00-19:00
  • HouseWine Room, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Pauline Essah.

Wine will be served from 17:45pm.....

Treatable bacterial infections still exert a heavy toll on human populations, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where malnutrition, HIV and poor sanitation remain a big challenge. In addition, the true burden of infections is unknown, as systematic surveillance is not carried out routinely. With a number of studies from East Africa showing worrying trends in multidrug resistance among key enteric and other bacterial pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp, Staphylococcus aureus, dysentery and Vibrio cholerae to nearly all commonly available antibiotics, it is imperative that this trend should be reversed. Here, we report data on few studies in Kenya and the region to highlight the current issues on surveillance, clinical investigation and management of outbreaks of key enteric and other bacterial pathogens.

Many countries in the region lack a formal surveillance system for infections investigation and reporting. Often treatment is given empirically based on clinical diagnosis alone. Availability of antibiotics over the counter without prescription has added to pressure for emergence and rapid spread of antibiotic resistance. As not all cases particularly in the rural set-ups and poor urban areas end up in the hospital, there is gross under-reporting. The creation of a structured surveillance and reporting system within the Ministries of Health would be useful in providing data to enhance management strategies in outbreaks. In addition integration into a regional surveillance network would enable us to register trends of outbreaks nationally and within the region.

This talk is part of the Cambridge-Africa Programme series.

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