Document Type



Pathology (East Africa)


Staphylococcus aureus has maintained its clinical relevance as a major cause of hospital and community acquired infections globally with a high burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Though reported, the burden of infection, antimicrobial resistance and molecular epidemiology of S. aureus are not well defined in Kenya. This descriptive review evaluated reported data on the detection and characterization of S. aureus infections in Kenya. Published data between 2000 and 2020 were evaluated. S. aureus isolation frequencies varied from 1% in blood specimens to 52.6% among skin and soft tissues infections while MRSA rates ranged from 1% to 84.1%. While penicillin resistance has consistently been high, last line and recent antibiotics such as vancomycin, linezolid, teicoplanin and daptomycin have retained their efficacy. Data on MRSA carriage in the community, among HCWs and inpatients is limited. Global clones (CC1, CC5, CC8, CC22, CC30, CC45 and CC239) alongside a few novel MRSA strains have been reported with staphylococcal protein A (spa) sequence based clustering yielding four major clusters (spa CC359, spa CC005, spa CC121 and spa CC021) in circulation. MRSA strain ST239/241 (t037) seems predominant in the country. Despite a clear paucity of data, the present analysis points to a high infection and AMR burden in S. aureus with global MRSA clones in circulation. Standardized national surveillance and reporting incorporating molecular tools for identification and characterization will help fill existing gaps in the understanding of the evolving epidemiology of MRSA infections.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Open Journal of Medical Microbiology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Pathology Commons