BACKGROUND: Although global surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is considered key in the containment of AMR, data from low- and middle-income countries, especially from sub-Saharan Africa, are scarce. This study describes epidemiology of bloodstream infections and antimicrobial resistance rates in a secondary care hospital in Benin.
METHODS: Blood cultures were sampled, according to predefined indications, in BacT/ALERT FA Plus and PF Plus (bioMérieux, Marcy-l'Etoile, France) blood culture bottles (BCB) in a district hospital (Boko hospital) and to a lesser extent in the University hospital of Parakou. These BCB were incubated for 7 days in a standard incubator and twice daily inspected for visual signs of growth. Isolates retrieved from the BCB were processed locally and later shipped to Belgium for reference identification [matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight spectrometry (MALDI-TOF)] and antibiotic susceptibility testing (disk diffusion and E-tests).
RESULTS: From October 2017 to February 2020, 3353 BCB were sampled, corresponding to 3140 blood cultures (212 cultures consisting of > 1 BCB) and 3082 suspected bloodstream infection (BSI) episodes. Most of these cultures (n = 2471; 78.7%) were sampled in children < 15 years of age. Pathogens were recovered from 383 (12.4%) cultures, corresponding to 381 confirmed BSI. 340 of these pathogens were available and confirmed by reference identification. The most common pathogens were Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 53; 15.6%), Salmonella Typhi (n = 52; 15.3%) and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 46; 13.5%). AMR rates were high among Enterobacterales, with resistance to third-generation cephalosporins in 77.6% of K. pneumoniae isolates (n = 58), 12.8% of Escherichia coli isolates (n = 49) and 70.5% of Enterobacter cloacae isolates (n = 44). Carbapenemase production was detected in 2 Escherichia coli and 2 Enterobacter cloacae isolates, all of which were of the New Delhi metallo-beta lactamase type. Methicillin resistance was present in 22.4% of S. aureus isolates (n = 49).
CONCLUSION: Blood cultures were successfully implemented in a district hospital in Benin, especially among the pediatric patient population. Unexpectedly high rates of AMR among Gram-negative bacteria against commonly used antibiotics were found, demonstrating the clinical and scientific importance of clinical bacteriology laboratories at this level of care.