n South African Medical Journal - Wake up, South Africa! The antibiotic 'horse' has bolted : editorial

Volume 102, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Decades of poor medical and veterinary antibiotic prescribing and a lack of regard for the practice of infection prevention and control (IPC) in our hospitals have left South Africa, like the rest of the international community, on the brink of a return to an era of untreatable bacterial infection. The recent emergence in South Africa of bacteria carrying the highly mobile New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) gene, which has been associated with rapid spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and, for the first time in Africa, carbapenemases (KPCs), will have a profound effect on the lives of our patients and on the health service. The acquisition of drug-resistant hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) increases morbidity, mortality and the cost of patient management to an already beleaguered health system by increasing the duration of hospital stay, often in expensive intensive care units (ICUs), and antibiotic prescribing costs.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error