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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(3):e2103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002103. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Antimicrobial resistance in invasive non-typhoid Salmonella from the Democratic Republic of the Congo: emergence of decreased fluoroquinolone susceptibility and extended-spectrum beta lactamases.

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National Institute for Biomedical Research, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.



Co-resistance against the first-line antibiotics ampicillin, chloramphenicol and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole or multidrug resistance (MDR) is common in non typhoid Salmonella (NTS). Use of alternative antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones or third generation cephalosporins is threatened by increasing resistance, but remains poorly documented in Central-Africa.


As part of a microbiological surveillance study in DR Congo, blood cultures were collected between 2007 and 2011. Isolated NTS were assessed for serotype and antimicrobial resistance including decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production. In total, 233 NTS isolates (representing 23.6% of clinically significant organisms) were collected, mainly consisting of Salmonella Typhimurium (79%) and Salmonella Enteritidis (18%). The majority of NTS were isolated in the rainy season, and recovered from children ≤2 years old. MDR, decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility, azithromycin and cefotaxime resistance were 80.7%, 4.3%, 3.0% and 2.1% respectively. ESBL production was noted in three (1.3%) isolates. Decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility was associated with mutations in codon 87 of the gyrA gene, while ESBLs all belonged to the SHV-2a type.


Presence of almost full MDR among NTS isolates from blood cultures in Central Africa was confirmed. Resistance to fluoroquinolones, azithromycin and third generation cephalosporins is still low, but emerging. Increased microbiological surveillance in DR Congo is crucial for adapted antibiotic therapy and the development of treatment guidelines.

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