High level of resistant bacteria circulating in the environment, food chain and community: A call to strengthen One Health Surveillance on antimicrobial resistance in Zimbabwe

  13 May 2022

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a threat to global public health, which involves the human, animal, plants, food, and environment sectors. AMR happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. As a result, the medicines become ineffective, and infections can persist in the body and/or spread to others. This increases illness and even deaths in humans, animals and plants. It also has implications for food safety, food security and the economic well-being of millions of people.

In 2017, Zimbabwe established a One Health AMR surveillance system through which AMR studies were done to understand the characteristics of bacteria which caused cholera and typhoid outbreaks in the recent past. However, a robust multisectoral surveillance system is needed to generate reliable data to assess the magnitude of AMR in Zimbabwe.

To strengthen Zimbabwe’s One Health AMR surveillance, the country implemented the WHO Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Escherichia coli (ESBL Ec) Tricycle protocol. The Tricycle protocol detects and estimates, the proportion of highly drug resistant bacteria, (ESBL Ec) in three key sectors, namely: humans (hospital and community); the food chain (animals); and the environment.

Further reading: WHO Zimbabwe
Author(s): WHO Zimbabwe
Effective Surveillance  
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