Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles of Thermophilic Campylobacter Species in Humans and Animals in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

Author(s): Noel Gahamanyi , Prof. Mecky Matee , Dr. Leonard Mboera

Noel Gahamanyi,1 Leonard E. G. Mboera,1 Mecky I. Matee,2 Dieudonné Mutangana,3 and Erick V. G. Komba1


Thermophilic Campylobacter species are clinically important aetiologies of gastroenteritis in humans throughout the world. The colonization of different animal reservoirs by Campylobacter poses an important risk for humans through shedding of the pathogen in livestock waste and contamination of water sources, environment, and food. A review of published articles was conducted to obtain information on the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles of thermophilic Campylobacter species in humans and animals in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Electronic databases, namely, PubMed, Google Scholar, Research4life-HINARI Health, and, were searched using the following search terms “thermophilic Campylobacter,” “Campylobacter jejuni,” “Campylobacter coli,” “diarrhea/diarrhoea,” “antimicrobial resistance,” “antibiotic resistance,” “humans,” “animals,” “Sub-Saharan Africa,” and “a specific country name.” Initially, a total of 614 articles were identified, and the lists of references were screened in which 22 more articles were identified. After screening, 33 articles on humans and 34 on animals and animal products were included in this review. In humans, Nigeria reported the highest prevalence (62.7%), followed by Malawi (21%) and South Africa (20.3%). For Campylobacter infections in under-five children, Kenya reported 16.4%, followed by Rwanda (15.5%) and Ethiopia (14.5%). The country-level mean prevalence in all ages and under-five children was 18.6% and 9.4%, respectively. The prevalence ranged from 1.7%–62.7% in humans and 1.2%–80% in animals. The most reported species were C. jejuni and C. coli. The AMR to commonly used antimicrobials ranged from 0–100% in both humans and animals. Poultry consumption and drinking surface water were the main risk factors for campylobacteriosis. The present review provides evidence of thermophilic Campylobacter occurrence in humans and animals and high levels of AMR in SSA, emphasizing the need for strengthening both national and regional multisectoral antimicrobial resistance standard surveillance protocols to curb both the campylobacteriosis burden and increase of antimicrobial resistance in the region.

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