Antibiotic resistance profiles of Campylobacter species in the South Africa private health care sector
Introduction: There is a dearth of surveillance data on clinical Campylobacter in South Africa, particularly in the private healthcare environment. We investigated the prevalence of resistance to first-line antibiotics used to treat campylobacterioses in clinical Campylobacter isolates from a private pathology laboratory.
Methodology: Identification of the Campylobacter specific genes were confirmed by PCR. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined using the broth micro-dilution method against macrolides (erythromycin, azithromycin), fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin) and tetracycline.
Results: Seventy-two Campylobacter isolates were identified by PCR, with 54 (75%) being classified as C. jejuni and 18 (25%) as C. coli. Of these, 11 (20.4%) C. jejuni and six (33.3%) C. coli strains were resistant to ciprofloxacin and three (7.41%) C. jejuni and three (16.7%) C. coli strains were resistant to gatifloxacin. The number of C. jejuni strains resistant to erythromycin and azithromycin was 17 (31.5%) and 36 (50%) respectively, while the resistance of C. coli strains to erythromycin and azithromycin were seven (38.9%) and 14 (77.8%) respectively. Resistance to tetracycline was detected in 10 (55.6%) C. coli and 14 (25.9%) C. jejuni strains.
Conclusion: In the light of these resistant profiles, the lack of a South African Campylobacter surveillance program is of concern. Relatively high prevalence of resistance in clinical isolates of C. jejuni and C. coli to the fluoroquinolones, macrolides and tetracycline used in first line treatment is of great concern. The efficacy treating human campylobacteriosis should thus be revisited.
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