Towards Enhanced Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance in the WHO African Region

In order to contribute to the improvement of surveillance of antimicrobial resistance at the country level, WHO/AFRO has developed a Guide for establishing laboratory-based surveillance for antimicrobial resistance.  

The Guide provides background information and defines the key steps for countries to conduct AMR surveillance for meningitis, bacteraemia and common enteric epidemic-prone diseases in a national bacteriology reference laboratory.  

The 25-page guide is divided into two broad sections: (a) elements of a laboratory-based surveillance system for AMR and (b) steps for establishing laboratory-based surveillance for AMR.

The first section deals with requirements for laboratory based-surveillance of AMR; the selection of antimicrobial agents and disease-causing microorganisms to be used in the surveillance programmes; standard operating pro-cedures and quality control;  data management and information sharing; expansion of the national surveillance for AMR, and monitoring and evaluation.

The second section outlines and explains the key steps for establishing laboratory-based surveillance for AMR.

It is recommended in the guide that the document be used alongside the IDSR strategy. 

“The expectation”, says Dr Kasolo, “is that application of this guide will strengthen the capacity of bacteriology reference laboratories to monitor AMR; improve the quality of AMR data by harmonizing laboratory techniques; and enhance the regional database on AMR. It will improve the standardization process used by bacteriology reference laboratories to confirm the bacterial causative agents of severe diseases such as meningitis, blood-stream infections and infections caused by viruses and bacteria that enter the body through the mouth or intesti-nal system, primarily as a result of eating, drinking and digesting contaminated foods or liquids.”

For more information, please contact:

Dr Ali Ahmed Yahaya; Tel: +$&-241-3924; yahayaa [at] afro.who.int
Samuel T. Ajibola; Tel: +47-241-39378; ajibolas [at] afro.who.int