Objectives: Neonatal sepsis, a major cause of death amongst infants in sub-Saharan Africa, is often gut derived. Gut colonisation by Enterobacteriaceae producing extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) or carbapenemase enzymes can lead to antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) or untreatable infections. We sought to explore the rates of colonisation by ESBL or carbapenemase producers in two neonatal units (NNUs) in West and East Africa. Methods: Stool and rectal swab samples were taken at multiple timepoints from newborns admitted to the NNUs at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria and the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisumu, western Kenya. Samples were tested for ESBL and carbapenemase genes using a previously validated qPCR assay. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was used to examine colonisation rates at both sites. Results: In total 119 stool and rectal swab samples were taken from 42 infants admitted to the two NNUs. Colonisation with ESBL (37 infants, 89%) was more common than with carbapenemase producers (26, 62.4%; P = 0.093). Median survival time before colonisation with ESBL organisms was 7 days and with carbapenemase producers 16 days (P = 0.035). The majority of ESBL genes detected belonged to the CTX-M-1 (36/38; 95%), and CTX-M-9 (2/36; 5%) groups, and the most prevalent carbapenemase was blaNDM (27/29, 93%). Conclusions: Gut colonisation of neonates by AMR organisms was common and occurred rapidly in NNUs in Kenya and Nigeria. Active surveillance of colonisation will improve the understanding of AMR in these settings and guide infection control and antibiotic prescribing practice to improve clinical outcomes.
- Molecular diagnostics
- Neonatal sepsis