Africa: Bringing Antimicrobial Research and Development to Africa - the Time Is Now

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opinion

Antimicrobial resistance has been an ongoing threat to public health in South Africa and across Africa. Disturbingly, the burden in Africa from infectious diseases has been on the rise. Part of the reason is the persistence of infections associated with tropical regions as well as the higher rates of poverty and greater spread of drug resistance.

In South Africa, the incidence of 3rd-generation cephalosporin resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniaeinfections is 15-fold higher than what is seen in the United Kingdom. Many of the problems with drug resistance can be addressed through improved medical infrastructure, practices and increased access to medicines.

The pathway to better health solutions will, however, require the development of novel agents. Much of this could be done in countries like South Africa where the issues are greatest and where there is a close connection with the patient population. South Africa "offers" a large patient population and high levels of drug-resistant pathogens present opportunities for infectious disease clinical research. Furthermore, South Africa has clinical trial research capabilities with the necessary medical infrastructure and expertise to meet international regulatory requirements and standards. However, South Africa is less well equipped to contribute to areas of translational research and development (R&D) of...

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