Ghana Medical Journal

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Zimbabwe

Kathrine Mauchaza, Farai D. Madzimbamuto, Seymour Waner


Introduction: The prevalence of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Africa is sparsely documented. In Zimbabwe there is no routine patient or specimen screening for MRSA. The aim of this study was to document the presence and epidemiology of MRSA in Zimbabwe.

Method: The study was done in one private sector laboratory with a national network that serves both public and private hospitals. The sample population included in-patients and outpatients, all ages, both genders, all races and only one positive specimen per patient was counted. Specimens testing positive for Staphylococcus aureus in this laboratory were further tested for MRSA using cefoxitin, by standard laboratory procedures. Data was collected from 1st June 2013 to 31st May 2014.

Results: MRSA was positive in 30 of 407 [7.0%] cases of Stapylococcus aureus reported from the laboratory. All age groups were affected from neonates to geriatrics. All specimens had similar antibiotic susceptibility pattern. Resistance was high for most widely used drugs in Zimbabwe with high sensitivity to vancomycin, linezolid and teicoplanin.

Conclusion: Although there are no recent reports in the literature of the presence of MRSA in Zimbabwe, this study documented a 7.0% prevalence. Resistance to common antibiotics is high and antibiotic oversight is required to control the emergence of resistance to these few expensive drugs.

Funding: Study was supported by Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care funds.

Keywords: Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Zimbabwe, antibiotic resistance, vancomycin, teicoplanin
AJOL African Journals Online