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Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat and is thought to be acute in low-and middle-income country (LMIC) settings, including in Kenya, but there is limited unbiased surveillance that can provide reliable estimates of its burden. Current efforts to build capacity for microbiology testing in Kenya are unlikely to result in systematic routine microbiological testing in the near term. Therefore, there is little prospect for microbiological support to inform clinical diagnoses nor for indicating the burden of AMR and for guiding empirical choice of antibiotics. Objective: We aim to build on an existing collaboration, the Clinical Information Network (CIN), to pilot microbiological surveillance using a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model where selected hospitals are linked to high quality microbiology research laboratories. Methods: Children admitted to paediatric wards of 12 participating hospitals will have a sample taken for blood culture at admission before antibiotics are started. Indication for blood culture will be a clinician’s prescription of antibiotics. Samples will then be transported daily to the research laboratories for culture and antibiotic susceptibility testing and results relayed back to clinicians for patient management. The surveillance will take place for 6 months in each hospital. Separately, we shall conduct semi-structured interviews with frontline health workers to explore the feasibility and utility of this approach. We will also seek to understand how the availability of microbiology results might inform antibiotic stewardship, and as an interim step to the development of better national or regional laboratories linked to routine surveillance. Conclusions: If feasible, this approach is less costly and periodic ‘hub-and-spoke’ surveillance can be used to track AMR trends and to broadly guide empirical antibiotic guidance meaning it is likely to be more sustainable than establishing functional microbiological facilities in each hospital in a LMIC setting.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome Open Research


F1000 Research Ltd

Publication Date





256 - 256