Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in human faecal flora in South Africa

P. M. A. Shanahana1, B. A. Wyliea2, P. V. Adriana2, H. J. Koornhofa2, C. J. Thomsona1 and S. G. B. Amyesa1 c1

a1 Department of Medical Microbiology, The Medical School, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, Scotland

a2 Emergent Pathogen Research Unit of the Medical Research Council, University of the Witwatersrand and the South African Institute for Medical Research, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa

Abstract

Between January and March 1992, 361 faecal specimens were collected from the healthy black population in the Transvaal Province of South Africa. Each specimen was examined for the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in commensal bacteria. Volunteers, from both rural and urban dwellings, were divided into four age groups. The overall carriage rate of resistance varied from 88.6% for ampicillin, 74.2% for trimethoprim, 52.6% for chloramphenicol, 10.2% for nalidixic acid to 7.5% for gentamicin. The carriage of resistance found to each individual antimicrobial agent was slightly higher in the rural population rather than the urban population but there was no correlation between the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and the age group.

(Accepted April 17 1993)

Correspondence:

c1 All correspondence and reprint requests should be sent to Professor S. G. B. Amyes, Department of Medical Microbiology, The Medical School, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, Scotland.

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