Antimicrobial Resistance in Gram-negative bacteria from Urinary Specimens: a study of prevalence, risk factors and molecular mechanisms of resistance (ARGUS)

Project timeline 2018-2021

Funded by: Department for International Development (DFID)

Principal investigator: Dr Ioana D Olaru

Collaborating Institutions: Biomedical Research and Training Institute (Zimbabwe) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK)

Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem affecting all countries irrespective of income and geographical location. The increase in antimicrobial resistance is driven by inappropriate antibiotic use in humans and animals, insufficient or lacking infection control systems and the dissemination of successful bacterial clones harbouring resistance genes. Low- and middle-income countries are especially vulnerable due to their developing healthcare systems and insufficient diagnostic capacity.

The aims of this study are to determine prevalence of and underlying molecular mechanisms for antimicrobial resistance in gram negative bacteria causing urinary tract infections in Zimbabwe, to investigate risk factors for antimicrobial resistance and to examine how antimicrobial resistance impacts on clinical outcome. A further aim is to evaluate antibiotic consumption and prescribing practices at the primary clinic level.

The study is expected to provide valuable information on the prevalence of antibiotic resistance and will inform treatment guidelines, as well as strategies to prevent development of antibiotic resistance. The information on antibiotic consumption will be used to optimise prescription practices and contribute to limiting the spread of antimicrobial resistance.