n African Journal of Laboratory Medicine - Stepwise approach for implementation of antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Africa - : lessons from the field

Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2225-2002
  • E-ISSN: 2225-2010



Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has reached an end point, prompting a worldwide scare as no new antibiotics are in the pipeline, particularly for treatment of Gram negative bacteria. To prevent further development and spread of AMR and to inform empirical treatment guidelines, surveillance of AMR is necessary.

We aim to provide a framework for a stepwise approach toward implementation of laboratory-based surveillance for AMR in African countries.
Building up a surveillance system is a robust process that begins with a gap analysis in each participating country. This framework provides practical guidance on how to set up surveillance, identify responsibilities and set time lines in sustainable manner for African countries. It addresses sampling strategies, human resources, procurement and maintenance issues for AMR testing at routine clinical and national reference and public health laboratories involved in AMR surveillance. Key issues such as laboratory capacity building, training and continuous education, quality and diagnostic stewardship are discussed in detail.
There are several priorities for AMR surveillance that need to be addressed in a comprehensive manner at regional and national levels, whilst keeping in line with current and proposed initiatives for laboratory capacity building, in order for African countries to achieve goals for combatting the real and current threat of AMR.

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