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Antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Mycoplasma genitalium isolates from the private healthcare sector in South Africa: A pilot study

L D Maduna, R P H Peters, C Kingsburgh, K-A Strydom, M M Kock

Abstract


Background. Reports have emerged globally of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Mycoplasma genitalium infections. In South Africa (SA), there are substantial differences between private and public healthcare with regard to antimicrobial drug prescribing practice, which could affect AMR patterns of private and public healthcare patients.

Objectives. To perform a pilot study to determine the frequency of AMR of N. gonorrhoeae and M. genitalium in patients accessing SA’s private healthcare sector.

Methods. In this cross-sectional study, N. gonorrhoeae-positive cultures and M. genitalium DNA samples were collected from a private healthcare reference laboratory from August 2018 to August 2019. In N. gonorrhoeae-positive cultures, antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed, followed by N. gonorrhoeae multiantigen sequence typing (NG-MAST) to determine genetic relatedness of the isolates. To determine macrolide and fluoroquinolone resistance rates, M. genitalium-positive samples were analysed by sequencing the 23S rRNA, gyrA and parC genes.

Results. Twenty-one N. gonorrhoeae- and 27 M. genitalium-positive specimens were included in this analysis. High rates of resistance were detected among gonococcal isolates, with 90% resistance to tetracycline, 86% to penicillin and 62% to ciprofloxacin, but no resistance to azithromycin, cefixime and ceftriaxone. NG-MAST revealed genetically diverse isolates with 83% novel NG-MAST sequence types. Macrolide and fluoroquinolone resistance-associated mutations were detected in 18.5% (n=5/27) and 7.4% (n=2/27) of M. genitalium strains, respectively.

Conclusions. We observed high frequencies of ciprofloxacin, penicillin and tetracycline resistance in N. gonorrhoeae and macrolide resistance-associated mutations in M. genitalium in private healthcare sector patients in SA. This finding highlights the need to use diagnostics for sexually transmitted infections and to include the private healthcare sector in antimicrobial surveillance and stewardship programmes.


Authors' affiliations

L D Maduna, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Technology, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho

R P H Peters, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Medical Microbiology, CAPHRI School of Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Division of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

C Kingsburgh, Ampath National Reference Laboratory, Pretoria, South Africa

K-A Strydom, Ampath National Reference Laboratory, Pretoria, South Africa

M M Kock, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Tshwane Academic Division, National Health Laboratory Service, Pretoria, South Africa

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Keywords

Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Mycoplasma genitalium; Antimicrobial resistance; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2021;111(10):995-997. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2021.v111i10.15714

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-10-05
Date published: 2021-10-05

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