Document Type



Pathology (East Africa)


Background: Accurate local prevalence of microbial diseases and microbial resistance data are vital for optimal treatment of patients. However, there are few reports of these data from developing countries, especially from sub-Saharan Africa. The status of Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi as an internationally accredited hospital and a laboratory with an electronic medical record system has made it possible to analyze local prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility data and compare it with other published data.

Methods: We have analyzed the spectrum of microbial agents and resistance patterns seen at a 300 bed tertiary private teaching hospital in Kenya using microbial identity and susceptibility data captured in hospital and laboratory electronic records between 2010 and 2014.

Results: For blood isolates, we used culture collection within the first three days of hospitalization as a surrogate for community onset, and within that group, Escherichia coli was the most common, followed by Staphylococcus aureus. In contrast, Candida spp. and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most common hospital onset causes of bloodstream infection. Antimicrobial resistance rates for the most commonly isolated Gram negative organisms was higher than many recent reports from Europe and North America. In contrast, Gram positive resistance rates were quite low, with 94% of S. aureus being susceptible to oxacillin and only rare isolates of vancomycin-resistant enterococci.

Conclusions: The current report demonstrates high rates of antimicrobial resistance in Gram negative organisms, even in outpatients with urinary tract infections. On the other hand, rates of resistance in Gram positive organisms, notably S. aureus, are remarkably low. A better understanding of the reasons for these trends may contribute to ongoing efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance globally.

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