Open Access

Resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to antimicrobial agents in Ethiopia: a meta-analysis

Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control20176:85

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-017-0243-7

Received: 28 June 2017

Accepted: 15 August 2017

Published: 23 August 2017

Abstract

Background

Emergence of antimicrobial resistance by Staphylococcus aureus has limited treatment options against its infections. The purpose of this study was to determine the pooled prevalence of resistance to different antimicrobial agents by S. aureus in Ethiopia.

Methods

Web-based search was conducted in the databases of PubMed, Google Scholar, Hinari, Scopus and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to identify potentially eligible published studies. Required data were extracted and entered into Excel spread sheet. Statistical analyses were performed using Stata version 13.0. The metaprop Stata command was used to pool prevalence values. Twenty-one separate meta-analysis were done to estimate the pooled prevalence of the resistance of S. aureus to twenty-one different antimicrobial agents. Heterogeneity among the studies was assessed using the I2 statistic and chi-square test. Publication bias was assessed using Egger’s test. Because of significant heterogeneity amongst the studies, the random effects model was used to pool prevalence values.

Results

The electronic database search yielded 1317 studies among which 45 studies met our inclusion criteria. Our analyses demonstrated very high level of resistance to amoxicillin (77% [95% confidence interval (CI): 68%, 0.85%]), penicillin (76% [95% CI: 67%, 84%]), ampicillin (75% [95% CI: 65%, 85%]), tetracycline (62% [95% CI: 55%, 68%]), methicillin (47% [95% CI: 33%, 61%]), cotrimoxaziole (47% [95% CI: 40%, 55%]), doxycycline (43% [95% CI: 26%, 60%]), and erythromycin (41% [95% CI: 29%, 54%]). Relatively low prevalence of resistance was observed with kanamycin (14% [95% CI: 5%, 25%]) and ciprofloxacin (19% [95% CI: 13%, 26%]). The resistance level to vancomycin is 11% 995% CI: (4%, 20%). High heterogeneity was observed for each of the meta-analysis performed (I2 ranging from 79.36% to 95.93%; all p-values ≤0.01). Eggers’ test did not show a significant publication bias for all antimicrobial agents except for erythromycin and ampicillin.

Conclusions

S. aureus in Ethiopia has gotten notoriously resistant to almost to all of antimicrobial agents in use including, penicillin, cephalosporins, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, methicillin, vancomycin and sulphonamides. The resistance level to vancomycin is bothersome and requires a due attention. Continued and multidimensional efforts of antimicrobial stewardship program promoting rational use of antibiotics, infection prevention and containment of AMR are urgently needed.

Keywords

Antimicrobial resistance Staphylococcus aureus Meta-analysis Ethiopia

Background

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infection is a major cause of skin, soft tissue, respiratory, bone, joint, and cardiovascular disorders [1]. S. aureus remains a versatile and dangerous pathogen in humans. The frequencies of both community-acquired and hospital-acquired staphylococcal infections have increased steadily. Treatment of these infections has become more difficult because of the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains [2].

Various mechanisms are responsible for S. aureus antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Penicillin is inactivated by β-lactamase. AMR to methicillin confers resistance to all β-lactamase-resistant penicillin’s and cephalosporins which require the presence of the mec gene that encodes penicillin-binding protein [3]. The enterococcal plasmid-bearing gene for resistance to vancomycin has been transferred by conjugation to S. aureus in vitro [4]. Both increased cell-wall synthesis and alterations in the cell wall that prevent vancomycin from reaching sites of cell-wall synthesis have been suggested as mechanisms [4]. Increase in vancomycin use has led to the emergence of two types of glycopeptide-resistant S. aureus. The first one, designated vancomycin intermediate-resistant S. aureus (VISA), is associated with a thickened and poorly cross-linked cell wall is due to continuous exposure to glycopeptide. The second type, vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA), is due to acquisition from Enterococcus species of the vanA operon resulting in high-level resistance and is a rare phenomenon [5].

In Ethiopia the first published antimicrobial preliminary report on AMR was published by Plorde et al. in 1970 for different microbial agents [6]. Beginning from that time AMR report were made by different antimicrobial surveillances and studies, it showed rapid rise and spread of resistant strains.

Facilitating more appropriate choices of treatment, minimizing the morbidity and mortality due to resistant infections, and preserving the effectiveness of antimicrobials requires summarization and synthesis of the evidence regarding AMR in a country. Appropriately summarized and synthesized evidence is mandatory for updating national treatment guidelines. To our knowledge, no previous meta-analysis or systematic review has been conducted on S. aureus AMR to all antimicrobial commonly in use in Ethiopia. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to determine pooled prevalence of S. aureus resistance to common antimicrobial agents in Ethiopia based on the best available studies.

Methods

Study design

This study did a meta-analysis of prevalence of S. aures resistance to different antimicrobial agents in Ethiopia using the best available studies.

Literature search strategy

Web-based search using PubMed, Google Scholar, Hinari, Scopus and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) was conducted in June 2016. Google search was used for unpublished works and government documents. Two of the authors (SD and SF) independently searched for relevant studies to be included in this meta-analysis. The PubMed search was carried out via the EndNote software. Relevant search results from Google scholar, Embase, Scopus and the DOAJ were individually downloaded and manually entered into EndNote. The reference lists of the identified studies were used to identify other relevant studies.

The search was done using various key words: Staphylococcus, antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic resistance, drug resistance, drug susceptibility, antibacterial resistance, Ethiopia. These key terms were used in various combinations using Boolean search technique. We did not limit the search by year or language of publication.

Study selection procedures and criteria

Study selection was performed in two stages independently by two of the authors (SD and SF). First, the titles and abstracts of all retrieved articles were reviewed and then grouped as “eligible for inclusion” if they did address the study question and “ineligible for inclusion” if they did not. Second, articles which were grouped under “eligible for inclusion” were reviewed in full detail for decision.

All available studies and data were included based on the following predefined inclusion criteria. 1) Studies that were original journal articles, short communications, or unpublished works; 2) Studies that did the antimicrobial susceptibility test according to the criteria of the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and defined antimicrobial resistance range according to CLSI manual [7], 3) Studies which used human infection sample.

Studies that 1) were duplicates, 2) were based on small number of isolates (1–10), 3) were conducted on non-human samples like on foods, food handlers’ belongings, health workers belongings or health workers carriage and 4) which were based on non-infectious carriage were excluded from this meta-analysis.

Data extraction

Required data were extracted from eligible studies using Excel spreadsheet format prepared for this purpose by AA and SD. The data extracted from eligible studies include name of author(s), year of publication, place where the study was conducted, study design, total number of S. aureus isolate tested in the study, number of resistant S. aureus isolates, and isolate source. If the proportion of drug sensitive isolates (q) was reported, the number of resistant isolates was calculated by multiplying the number of isolates (n) by one minus the proportion of drug sensitive isolates (1-q) and if the proportion of drug resistant isolates was given the number of resistant isolates was found by multiplying the proportion (p) with total number of isolates (n).

Statistical analysis and reporting

Statistical analyses were performed using Stata version 13.0 (Statacorp, LP, college station, TX). The prevalence values from the different studies were pooled using the metaprop command in Stata [8]. We did twenty-one separate meta-analyses to estimate the pooled prevalence of the resistance of S. aureus to twenty one different antimicrobial agents. The number of studies included in each of the meta-analyses ranged from 4 to 39. Heterogeneity amongst the studies was assessed using the I2 statistic. Because of significant heterogeneity amongst the studies the random-effects model (REM) was used to estimate the pooled prevalence and 95% CIs using the DerSimonian and Laird method [9]. The Freeman-Tukey double arcsine transformation was used so that studies reporting proportions near or at 0 and 1 would not be excluded from the meta-analysis. The possible presence of publication bias was checked using Egger’s test [10].

For studies that appeared to report unusually higher prevalence of resistance compared to others, we did sensitivity analysis after dropping the study which we suspected of reporting a higher-than-usual result. If the point estimate of pooled prevalence after dropping a study lies within the 95% CI of the overall pooled estimate for all studies combined, we considered the given study as having non-significant influence on the overall pooled estimate. Otherwise, the study was considered as having significantly influencing the overall estimate.

Results of the current meta-analysis are reported as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guideline. The PRISMA checklist was used to ensure inclusion of relevant information (the filled checklist is included as Additional file 1: S1) [11].

Results

Included studies and characteristics

The electronic database search yielded 1317 from PubMed and 17,400 from Google scholar, Hinari, and Google search of which 16,083 articles remained after removing duplicate articles. Title and abstract screening reduced eligible articles to 76 for full text evaluation. After reading the full texts, 31 studies were excluded for various reasons. Thirteen studies were excluded as their report is based on small number of isolates (less than or equal to10) [1224], four studies reported crude resistance for all bacterial pathogen isolated [2528], eleven did not address our study question [2936], six studies were based on samples taken from of healthy carriers [3742], one study [43] was part of another study [44], and one study [45] suffered from environmental contamination of the samples during processing. Thus, 45 studies met our inclusion criteria (Fig. 1). Forty-one of the studies were journal articles, three were unpublished works [4648] and one was an official government document from the Drug Administration and Control Authority (DACA) of Ethiopia [49].
Fig. 1

Flow diagram of retrieval of studies: Number of studies screened, assessed for eligibility, and included in the meta-analysis with reasons

S. aureus isolates from a total of 4570 patients were tested for their antimicrobial resistance. The isolates were from ear discharge [5057], eye discharge [47, 5860], blood [6168], wound infection [6974], surgical site infection [30, 73, 7578], mixed samples [6, 46, 48, 49, 7983], leprosy ulcer [84, 85], and urine sample [86, 87]. Twenty nine studies used primary data while nineteen studies used records from hospitals or regional laboratories (the characteristics of each included study is summarized Table 1).
Table 1

Characteristics of included studies

No

Study

Study period

Sample source

Data type

Sample size

No of S. aureus isolate

1.

Hailu et al., 2016

Jan.2013 -Apr. 2015.

Ear discharge

Secondary

368

78

2.

Abera et al., 2008

Apr -June 2006

Different clinical samples

Primary

221

142

3.

Abera et al., 2009

Sep. 2000 - Dec. 2008.

Ear discharge

Secondary

777

260

4.

Mama et al., 2014

May toSep. 2013.

wound infection

Primary

150

47

5.

Shiferaw et al., 2015

Feb.-May 2014

External ocular infections

Primary

160

21

6.

Sewunet, et al., 2013

Apr-July 2010

Burn patients wound

Primary

50

24

7.

Alebachew et al., 2012

March–May 2011

Wound burn patient’s

Primary

114

66

8.

Biadglegne, et al., 2009

Sep. 2003-June 2008.

Urinary tract infections

Secondary

529

31

9.

Ferede et al., 2001

2001

Ear swabs

Primary

112

28

10.

Guta et al., 2014

Nov 2010-June 2011

surgical wounds

Primary

100

45

11.

Kahsay et al., 2014

Dec 2011-Mar 2012

surgical wounds

Primary

184

73

12.

Mengesha et al., 2014

Jan-June 2012

Surgical wounds

Primary

128

40

13.

Mulu et al., 2012

Oct 2010-Jan2011

post-operative wounds

Primary

294

11

14.

Denboba et al., 2016

2001–2011

Ear discharge

Secondary

1225

241

15.

Abera et al., 2011

2003–2011

Ear discharge

Secondary

897

207

16.

Kibret et al., 2010

2003 to 2010

Different clinical samples

Secondary

429

429

17.

Tenssay et al., 2002

May 1997-Aug1998

Different Clinical samples

Primary

545

61

18.

Wasihun et al., 2015

Nov 2014-June2015.

Ear discharege

Primary

162

46

19.

Worku et al., 2014

June-Oct 2013

Ear discharge

Primary

117

24

20.

Negussie et al., 2015

Oct 2011-Feb2012

Blood samples

Primary

201

13

21.

Gizachew et al., 2015

Sep-Feb2013/2014

Different Clinical samples

Secondary

4321

309

22.

Yismaw et al., 2008

Sep2001- Aug2005

Different Clinical samples

Secondary

-

616

23.

Ali et al., 2008

Mar2001-apr2005

Blood sample

Secondary

472

34

24.

Mulu et al., 2006

2005

wound infection

Secondary

151

51

25.

Azene et al., 2011

2003 to 2010

wound infection

Secondary

599

208

26.

Dessalegn et al., 2014

Nov2010 - Mar2011

post-surgical wound

Primary

194

66

27.

Gebrehiwot et al., 2012

July 2011–July 2012

Blood sample

Primary

181

17

28.

Lemma et al., 2012

Aug2006 – May 2007

leprosy ulcer

Primary

1827

68

29.

Shitaye et al., 2010

Oct 2006 -Mar2007

Blood samples

Primary

302

17

30.

Alebachew et al. 2016

March–May, 2013

Blood samples

Primary

100

13

31.

Dagnew, et al. 2013

Sept 2006 to Jan 2012

Blood sample

Secondary

390

17

32.

Endris, et al. 2014

Feb - May, 2012.

Blood samples

Primary

83

11

33.

Godebo et al., 2013

June-Dec., 2011

Wound

Primary

322

73

34.

Muluye et al., 2013

2009–2012

Ear discharge

Secondary

250

54

35.

Muluye et al., 2014

2009–2012

ocular infection

Secondary

102

13

36.

Wasihun et al., 2015

Nov 2014–2015

Blood culture

Primary

514

54

37.

Ramos et al., 2014

July–December, 2013

Sample from pus

Primary

68

15

38.

Dessie et al., 2016

Oct2013-Mar2014

Wound

Primary

107

19

39.

Plorde et al., 1970

Oct1969- Apr.1970

different clinical specimens

Primary

-

52

40.

Wolday et al., 1997

Jan1992–1994

Urine sample

Secondary

672

16

41.

Tesfaye 2013

Feb2012-Oct2012.

external ocular infection

Primary

198

42

42.

DACA 2009

2004 to 2008

Different clinical samples

Secondary

1422

722

43.

Tadesse 2014 (UPa)

Dec 2013-Jun2014

Different clinical samples

Primary

188

79

44.

Neway et al., 2006(UPa)

May-Aug. 2015

external ocular infection

Primary

288

63

45.

Endalafer 2008(UPa)

Jun2007-Apr2008

Different clinical samples

Primary

215

14

aUP = unpublished work

Publication bias and heterogeneity

Evidence of high heterogeneity was observed for each of the meta-analyses performed (I2 ranging from 79.36% to 95.93%; all p-values ≤ 0.01). Eggers’ test did not suggest any significant publication bias except for erythromycin and ampicillin (see Additional file 2: S2).

Prevalence of S. aureus resistance to different antimicrobial agents

Summary of the pooled prevalence of S. aureus AMR prevalence for twenty-one different antimicrobial agents and the number of studies included in the meta-analysis for each agent are presented in Table 2. Prevalence of S. aureus resistance for each antimicrobial agent based on pharmacological classification of the agents is given below. As new anti-MRSA agents such as linezolid, daptomycin, tigecycline, telavancin and ceftaroline are rarely available in Ethiopia and no published studies available on resistance to this agents, our results do not cover such agents.
Table 2

Pooled prevalence of S. aureus resistance to different antimicrobial agents in Ethiopia

 

Agent

Number of studies

Total no of isolate tested

No of resistant isolate

Pooled AMR prevalence (95% CI)

I2 (p-value)

1.

Vancomycin

19

1750

132

0.11 (0.04,0.20)

95.34 (P ≤ 0.01)

2.

Methicilin

26

1179

843

0.47 (0.33,0.61)

96.82 (P ≤ 0.01)

3.

Ciprofloxacin

31

2254

400

0.19 (0.13, 0.26)

93.06(P ≤ 0.01)

4.

Tetracycline

36

3019

1982

0.62 (0.55, 0.68)

92.06(P ≤ 0.01)

5.

Cotrimoxazole

35

2825

1364

0.47 (0.40, 0.55)

92.85(P ≤ 0.01)

6.

Chloramphenicol

34

2763

1128

0.37 (0.29,0.45)

94.28 (P ≤ 0.01)

7.

Erythromycin

37

3828

2222

0.41 (0.29, 0.54)

98.28(P ≤ 0.01)

8.

Penicillin

33

2271

1627

0.76 (0.67, 0.84)

95.05(P ≤ 0.01)

9.

Clindamycin

14

1445

414

0.24 (0.12,0.37)

95.48(P ≤ 0.01)

10.

Carbencillin

6

398

184

0.34 (0.17,0.54)

86.89(P ≤ 0.01)

11.

Amoxicillin

18

870

660

0.77 (0.68,0.85)

87.44(P ≤ 0.01)

12.

Amoxicillin-clavulanic

12

524

166

0.30 (0.19,0.43)

88.64(P ≤ 0.01)

13.

Ampicillin

27

1814

1181

0.75 (0.65,0.85)

95.21(P ≤ 0.01)

14.

Gentamycin

39

3348

892

0.26 (0.18,0.34)

95.93(P ≤ 0.01)

15.

Ceftriaxone

28

2032

626

0.34 (0.25,0.43)

94.02(P ≤ 0.01)

16.

Cephalothin

15

2330

785

0.30 (0.18,0.43)

94.02(P ≤ 0.01)

17.

Cefoxitine

6

374

101

0.27 (0.06, 0.54)

95.74(P ≤ 0.01)

18.

Doxycline

14

541

239

0.43 (0.26,0.60)

93.32(P ≤ 0.01)

19.

Amikacin

4

211

62

0.23 (0.07,0.44)

90.42(P ≤ 0.01)

20.

Kanamycin

7

66

40

0.14 (0.05,0.25)

79.36(P ≤ 0.01)

21.

Norfloxacilin

11

751

186

0.25 (0.14,0.38)

92.79(P ≤ 0.01)

Prevalence of resistance to glycopeptides (vancomycin)

Nineteen studies were included for meta-analysis of vancomycin resistance prevalence. The pooled prevalence for S. aureus resistance to vancomycin in Ethiopia is 11% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4%, 20%). The forest plot for vancomycin resistance is presented in Fig. 2. The results of sensitivity analysis after exclusion of the two studies that appeared to report outlier prevalence values separately and both together showed non-significant influence of the two studies on the overall estimate. The pooled prevalence of vancomycin resistance when Guta et al. and Desalegn et al. were removed separately was 0.09, (95% CI: 0.03, 0.17). When, both Guta et al. and Desalegn et al. were excluded, vancomycin resistance was 0.07 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.14). All the three pooled values lie within the overall pooled estimate.
Fig. 2

Forest plot of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to vancomycin

Prevalence of resistance to penicillin’s

Here, the pooled prevalence of S. aureus resistance to penicillin G, amoxicillin, ampicillin, and amoxacilin-caluvanic acid was estimated. Resistance to penicillin G was estimated based on 33 studies, to amoxicillin based on 18 studies, to ampicillin based on 27 studies and to amoxacilin-caluvanic acid based on 12 studies. Pooled resistance rates were highest for β-lactamase-sensitive penicillin’s. Resistance to amoxicillin was 77% (95% CI: 68%, 85%), to penicillin G 75% (95% CI: 65%, 85%) and to ampicillin 76% (95% CI: 67%, 84%). Resistance to carbencilin (β-lactam-sensitive antibiotic) was relatively lower than other β-lactam-antibiotics (34% [95% CI: 17%, 54%]).

Relatively lower resistance rate was observed to β-lactamase-resistant penicillin’s: methicillin (47% [95% CI: 33%, 61%]) and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (30% [95% CI: 19%, 43%]). The forest plots for methicillin and amoxacilin resistance are presented in Figs. 3 and 4, respectively while the forest plots for penicillin G, ampicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, and carbencillin resistance are presented in Additional file 3: S3, Additional file 4: S4, Additional file 5: S5 and Additional file 6: S6.
Fig. 3

Forest plot of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to methicillin

Fig. 4

Forest plot of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to amoxicillin

Prevalence of resistance to cephalosporins

Prevalence of the resistance of S. aureus to cephalosporins is similar to the prevalence of resistance to β-lactamase-resistant penicillin’s (amoxaclin-clavulanic acid). The prevalence of resistance to cephalothin is 30% (95% CI: 18%, 43%), to ceftriaxone 34% (95% CI: 25%, 43%) and to cefoxitine 27% (95% CI: 6%, 54%). The forest plot for ceftriaxone resistance is presented in Fig. 5 while the forest plots for cephalotine and cefoxitine resistance are presented respectively in Additional file 7: S7 and Additional file 8: S8.
Fig. 5

Forest plot of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to ceftriaxone

Prevalence of resistance to floroquinolones

Two antimicrobial agents were tested from the floroquinolones: ciprofloxacin and norfloxacilin. Thirty one studies were used to estimate the prevalence of ciprofloxacin resistance and eleven studies were included for the estimation of norfloxacilin resistance. The pooled prevalence of S. aureus resistance to ciprofloxacin was 19% (95% CI: 13%, 26%) and to norfloxacillin 25% (95% CI: 14%, 38%). The forest plot for ciprofloxacin resistance is presented in Fig. 6 while the forest plot for norfloxacilin included as Additional file 9: S9.
Fig. 6

Forest plot of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to ciprofloxacin

Prevalence of resistance to protein synthesis inhibitors

Higher rates of resistance were observed with reversible inhibitors of protein synthesis compared to aminoglycosides (irreversible inhibitors of protein synthesis). Tetracycline showed the highest resistance rate (62% [95% CI: 55%, 68%]) followed by doxycycline 43% (95% CI: 26%, 60%), erythromycin (41% [95% CI: 29%, 54%]), and chloramphenicol (37% [95% CI: 29%, 54%]). Clindamycin and aminoglycosides showed relatively lower level of resistance (Table 2).

The prevalence of resistance to gentamycin is 26% (95% CI: 18%, 34%), to amikacin 23% (95% CI: 7%, 44%) and to kanamycin 14% (95% CI: 5%, 25%). The forest plot for gentamycin resistance is presented in Fig. 7 while the forest plots for erythromycin, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, amikacin, clindamycin, and kanamycin resistance are presented as the Additional file 10: S10, Additional file 11: S11, Additional file 12: S12, Additional file 13: S13, Additional file 14: S14 and Additional file 15: S15.
Fig. 7

Forest plot of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to tetracycline

Prevalence of resistance to antimetabolites

Thirty five studies were included for estimation of pooled prevalence of S. aureus resistance to sulphametaxozole-trimethoprim and found to be 47% (95% CI: 40%, 55%). The forest plot for sulphametaxozole- trimethoprim resistance is presented in Fig. 8.
Fig. 8

Forest plot of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to sulphametaxazole-trimethoprim

Comparison of the prevalence of S. aures resistance to different antimicrobial agents

Comparison of the prevalence of S. aures resistance to different antimicrobial agents addressed by this meta-analysis is given in Fig. 9. It is found that the magnitude of S.aureus resistance to the different antimicrobial agents ranges from 11% to vancomycin to 77% to amoxicillin. Accordingly, invitro antimicrobial effectiveness in decreasing order believed to be vancomycin, kanamycin, ciprofloxacilin, amikacin, clindamycin, amoxacilin-clavulanic acid, cephalothin, carbencilin, ceftriaxone, cefoxitine, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, doxycycline, methicillin, cotrimoxazole, tetracycline, ampicillin, pencilin, and amoxacilin.
Fig. 9

Comparison of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to different antimicrobial agents in Ethiopia

Discussion

In this meta-analysis, we estimated the pooled prevalence of S. aureus resistance to 21 different antimicrobial agents commonly used in Ethiopia. Generally 45 studies were included for the meta-analysis, however the number of studies included in each meta-analyses ranged from 4 to 39. Overall, the 45 studies provided evidence regarding the level of S. aureus resistance to different antimicrobial agents based on 4530 isolates. It was found that S. aureus resistance to commonly available antimicrobial agents in Ethiopia was alarmingly high ranging from 11% to vancomycin to 77% to amoxicillin.

The pooled estimate of the prevalence of S. aureus resistance particularly to methicillin (MRSA) in Ethiopia is similar to 2014 global surveillance reports of the World Health Organization (WHO) 2014 [88], which showed MRSA prevalence between 33% to 95% in Africa. The pooled prevalence of MRSA in Ethiopia 47% (95% CI: 33%–61%) is within the range of the global WHO report for Africa.

The pooled estimate in study for MRSA is in agreement with the pooled estimate of community acquired-MRSA prevalence in Asia, Europe, and North America which ranges from 23.1% to 47.4% [89]. However, the pooled estimate 47% (95% CI: 33%–61%) MRSA prevalence in Ethiopia is higher than pooled estimate of community acquired MRSA prevalence 30.2% based on 27 retrospective studies and 37.3% based on 5 prospective studies [90]. The higher prevalence in our study may be due to the inclusion of both community acquired and nosocomial infection in the original studies. Nosocomial infection are believed to have higher rate of resistance due to larger exposure rate to antimicrobial agents. Increasing resistance to antimicrobial agents in hospitals is caused by transmission of resistant strains within hospitals by cross colonization of patients via hands of healthcare staff and direct patient to patient contact and subsequent spread [91].

Global pattern of AMR shows variation among different geographic, socioeconomic strata and among studies [49, 88, 92]. Variation may be to differences in time, place, design, and population involved in the study. This may be due to healthcare facilities conditions like implementation and monitoring of infection prevention policies and rational antibiotic usage which varies in different facilities. The most important reason is due to character of the study. Studies are conducted within a specified time and locality. It is reasonable to assume population under study might be infected by the same strains of agent at specified period of time and location. This could be a good reason why heterogeneity tests showed significant variability (p-value ≤0.01) among studies included in this meta-analysis for 2 l antimicrobial agents.

S. aureus acquires resistance by various mechanisms: formation of alternative pathways for sulphonamides [93, 94], production of β-lactamase to β-lactam-sensitive antibiotics, increased efflux to tetracycline [95, 96], presence of acetyltransferase to chloramphenicol, decrease in accumulation to macrolide antibiotics [97], aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes production to aminoglycosides, altered topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase expression for fluoroquinolones, and expression of mec gene altering penicillin binding protein to β-lactam antibiotics [98]. Since the AMR for β-lactam sensitive β-lactam antibiotics is very high, it can be speculated that most strains of S. aureus found in Ethiopia produce the β-lactamase enzyme. However, there is no molecular study conducted to identify the type of resistant strains and mechanism responsible for resistance in Ethiopia.

Lower rate of resistance was seen with β-lactamase-resistant antibiotics (amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, methicillin, ceftriaxone, cefoxtine, and cephalothin) compared to β-lactamase-sensitive penicillins. Unlike β-lactamase sensitive penicillin’s, resistance to carbeniciln is significantly lower. The lower rate of resistance observed with carbencilin and clindamycin may be due to their infrequent use in Ethiopia [99].

Resistance to methicillin confers resistance to all β-lactamase-resistant penicillins and cephalosporins. This high level of resistance requires the presence of the mec gene that encodes penicillin-binding protein [98]. The implication of high prevalence of MRSA for suspected or verified S. aureus infections such as common skin and wound infections and surgical prophylaxis is that there is a need for better alternatives drugs. Alternative drugs needed to treat or prevent S. aureus infections are more expensive and, because of their adverse effects, monitoring during treatment is advisable which increases the costs even further.

The prevalence of resistance S. aureus to vancomycin 11% 995% CI: (4%, 20%) in this study is bothersome and higher compared to global prevalence estimate [100]. The prevalence of VISA was 2.05% before, 2.63% in 2006–2009, and 7.93% in 2010–2014. Vancomycin resistance is erasing all possible treatment options in Ethiopia for MRSA. The higher prevalence of vancomycin in Ethiopia compared to global estimate may be due to larger and irrational use of antimicrobial agents in Ethiopia,

The prevalence estimates of glycopeptides/vancomycin resistance from Guta et al., and Desalegn et al., were unusually high, however sensitivity analysis showed non-significant influence on the overall pooled prevalence estimate. The prevalence estimates from Guta et al. and Desalegn et al. were unusually high, however sensitivity analysis showed non-significant influence on the overall pooled prevalence estimate. Larger exposure probability to resistant strains due to larger use of vancomycin in hospital settings might have resulted in a relatively higher prevalence of vancomycin resistance in the two studies [73, 77].

In four of the twenty studies (published in 2014 and after) [48, 51, 73, 77], the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to vancomycin is higher than 40%. In contrast, in studies published before 2014 the prevalence of S. aureus resistance to vancomycin in Ethiopia is much lower (0% to 16%). This may indicate a rapid rise and spread of vancomycin resistant S. aureus strains in Ethiopia as the rate of vancomycin use and exposure in Ethiopia increases. This calls for inclusion for effective new anti-MRSA antimicrobial agents for treatment of staphylococcal infections in the national medicine list and effective antimicrobial stewardship programs for prevention and containment of antimicrobial resistance.

Staphylococcal infection in Ethiopia can be better treated by vancomycin, floroquinolones, and aminoglycosides based on the finding of our invitro finding. However, clinical effectiveness study had not yet proved it. Resistance to vancomycin, the only choice for MRSA in Ethiopia, is of a great concern. It is bothersome due to lack of alternative agents in Ethiopia for the treatment of S. aureus infections. Making things worse, alternative new anti-MRSA agents (like linezolid, daptomycin, tigecycline, telavancin, and ceftaroline are rarely available in Ethiopia for treatment of vancomycin resistant S. aureus.

Many factors contribute to AMR. First, lack of infection prevention contributes to recurrent infection then to spread of resistant strains. Second, misuse of antimicrobials from prescription–dispensing-to patient use [101]. In Ethiopia, it is a common practice that antibiotics can be purchased without prescription, which leads to misuse of antibiotics by the public [102]. Third factor could be misuse of antibiotics by health professionals and non-standardized practice [101]. The fourth factor could be poor hospital hygienic conditions [103]. A last contributing factor could be lack of routine antimicrobial susceptibility testing which diverts to empiric therapy [49]. In line to strategies for prevention and containment of S. aureus there is a need for innovative way of halting AMR. Combination therapy and availability of new anti-MRSA agents will play vital role in fighting against AMR to S. aureus.

However, interpretation of the findings of this meta-analysis requires considering the limitations thereof. The limitations arise from the inherent characteristics of the included individual studies. First, this is invitro antimicrobial resistance testing and its direct translation to clinical effectiveness requires caution. Second, many studies involved very limited localities and were done mainly in teaching hospitals in bigger cities where patients with advanced, severe stages, recurrent infections are treated. Hence, the resistance level could have overestimated.

Conclusions

This meta-analysis demonstrates that S. aureus has gotten alarmingly resistant to many of common antimicrobials used in Ethiopia. It is highly resistant to penicillin, cephalosporin, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, methicillin, sulphonamides, and vancomycin. Resistance to vancomycin is of a great concern and bothersome due to unavailability of treatment options for S. aureus infections in Ethiopia.

Continued and multidimensional efforts of antimicrobial stewardship programme promoting rational use of antimicrobials, infection prevention and containment of AMR are urgently needed. It is deemed necessary to include new anti-MRSA agents in national medicine list to treat resistant strains. Combination therapy, effective in battling AMR in many infectious diseases model, may prove significant advantage in battling resistance to S. aureus. Therapeutic options are urgently needed for patients infected with resistant S. aureus. Further researches focusing on clinical treatment outcome and identifying dynamics promoting resistance, high risk strains and molecular genetic basis of resistance are needed.

Abbreviations

AMR: 

Antimicrobial resistance

MRSA: 

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus

NCCLs: 

National Committee for clinical Laboratory Standard

S. aureus

Staphylococcus aureus

VISA: 

Vancomycin intermediate Staphylococcus aureus

VRSA: 

Vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Declarations

Acknowledgements

Not applicable.

Funding

There was no funding support to conduct this meta-analysis.

Availability of data and materials

The data supporting the conclusions of this article are included within the article and its supporting information.

Authors’ contributions

SD, SF and AA conceptualized the research idea. SD and SF conducted literature search, selection and data extraction. AA performed the statistical analyses. SD prepared the draft manuscript. All authors revised, edited and approved the final manuscript.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University
(2)
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University
(3)
School of Public and Environmental Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University

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