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‘Switch drugs in fighting typhoid’

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LOCAL health institutions have been urged to switch to Ceftriaxone and Azithromycin in the treatment of typhoid amid reports of an emerging antimicrobial resistance to first line drugs such as Ciprofloxacin.

BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA

The call followed a recent study by government health researcher Tapfumanei Mashe, whose project titled Antimicrobial susceptibility trends of Salmonella Typhi in Zimbabwe revealed that there has been an increase in resistance to Ciprofloxacin from 4,4% in 2014 to 22% this year.

“An increase in resistance to Ciprofloxacin was observed from 2014 (4,2%) to 2017 (22%) There was high resistance of isolates to Ampicillin and Chloramphenicol in all the years. However, all isolates were susceptible to Ceftriaxone and Azithromycin. The results of the study suggest that MDR (multi-drug resistance) is widespread among Salmonella Typhi isolates in Zimbabwe,” the study said.

The research also indicated that antimicrobial susceptibility testing information of salmonella typhi is of great importance to Zimbabwe for correct treatment regimens and for monitoring multi-drug resistant strains.

“Antimicrobials should be used after laboratory sensitivity results have indicated effectiveness. Salmonella typhi strains in Zimbabwe are presently susceptible to Ceftriaxone and Azithromycin, implying use of these drugs for treatment of typhoid fever should be promoted,” Mashe added.

The research findings have been presented in Belgium, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

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