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High Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance Among Common Bacterial Isolates in a Tertiary Healthcare Facility in Rwanda

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  • Department of Medicine, Kigali University Teaching Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda; Department of Clinical Biology, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Butare, Rwanda; Section of Infectious Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious public health threat in both developed and developing countries. Many developing countries, including Rwanda, lack adequate surveillance systems, and therefore, the prevalence of AMR is not well-known. We conducted a prospective observational study to assess the prevalence of AMR among common bacterial isolates from clinical specimens obtained from patients on the medical wards of Kigali University Teaching Hospital (KUTH). We evaluated the antibiotic sensitivity patterns of bacterial pathogens cultured from urine, blood, sputum, and wound swab specimens obtained over a 6-month period (July 1 to December 30, 2013). There were 154 positive cultures from specimens obtained from 141 unique patients over the study period. Urine, blood, wound swab, and sputum cultures comprised 55.2%, 25.3%, 16.2%, and 3.3% of the total specimens evaluated; 31.4% and 58.7% of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella isolates, respectively, were resistant to at least one of the third generation cephalosporins. Eight percent of E. coli isolates were resistant to imipenem; 82% and 6% of Staphylococcus aureus strains were oxacillin- and vancomycin-resistant respectively. Antimicrobial resistance rates are high in Rwanda and pose a serious therapeutic challenge to the management of common infections.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Onyema Ogbuagu, Section of Infectious Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, 135 College Street, Suite 323, New Haven, CT 06519. E-mail: onyema.ogbuagu@yale.edu

Financial support: Funding was obtained through the Kigali University Teaching Hospital (KUTH) Research Department.

Authors' addresses: Cyprien Ntirenganya and Olivier Manzi, Department of Medicine, Kigali University Teaching Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda, E-mails: cyprien.dr@gmail.com and oliviermanzi@yahoo.fr. Claude Mambo Muvunyi, Department of Clinical Biology, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, National University of Rwanda, Butare, Rwanda, E-mail: clmuvunyi@gmail.com. Onyema Ogbuagu, Section of Infectious Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, E-mail: onyema.ogbuagu@yale.edu.

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