BACKGROUND: Non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) are a frequent cause of invasive infections in sub-Saharan Africa. They are frequently multidrug resistant (co-resistant to ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and chloramphenicol), and resistance to third-generation cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone non-susceptibility have been reported. Third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones are often used to treat invasive NTS infections, but azithromycin might be an alternative. However, data on antibiotic treatment efficacy in invasive NTS infections are lacking. In this study, we aimed to assess the spatiotemporal distribution of antimicrobial resistance in invasive NTS infections in sub-Saharan Africa and to describe the available evidence and recommendations on antimicrobial treatment.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of all available literature on antimicrobial resistance and treatment in invasive NTS infections. We performed a random effects meta-analysis to assess the temporal distribution of multidrug resistance, third-generation cephalosporin resistance, and fluoroquinolone non-susceptibility. We mapped these data to assess the spatial distribution. We provided a narrative synthesis of the available evidence and recommendations on antimicrobial treatment.
RESULTS: Since 2001, multidrug resistance was observed in 75% of NTS isolates from all sub-Saharan African regions (95% confidence interval, 70-80% and 65-84%). Third-generation cephalosporin resistance emerged in all sub-Saharan African regions and was present in 5% (95% confidence interval, 1-10%) after 2010. Fluoroquinolone non-susceptibility emerged in all sub-Saharan African regions but did not increase over time. Azithromycin resistance was reported in DR Congo. There were no reports on carbapenem resistance. We did not find high-quality evidence on the efficacy of antimicrobial treatment. There were no supranational guidelines. The "Access group" antibiotics ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and chloramphenicol and "Watch group" antibiotics ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, and ciprofloxacin were recommended as the first-choice antibiotics in national guidelines or reviews. These also recommended (a switch to) oral fluoroquinolones or azithromycin.
CONCLUSIONS: In addition to the widespread multidrug resistance in invasive NTS infections in sub-Saharan Africa, resistance to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolone non-susceptibility was present in all regions. There was a lack of data on the efficacy of antimicrobial treatment in these infections, and supranational evidence-based guidelines were absent.