Antibiotic resistance is one of the most serious threats to global health. The misuse of antimicrobials in humans and animals accelerates this process, and the consequences for human health are particularly severe in low-resource countries. In Africa in particular, the consumption of antibiotics is poorly controlled and resistance can lead to therapeutic dead ends potentially responsible for excess mortality.
Funded by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the SARA project is coordinated by Institut Pasteur in Paris, in partnership with the Institut Pasteur in Madagascar, and initially involves five members of the Pasteur Network and one of its privileged partners: the Pasteur Center in Cameroon, the Institut Pasteur in Madagascar, the Institut Pasteur in Morocco, the Institut Pasteur in Bangui and the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, as well as the Center National Hospitalier Universitaire Hubert Koutoukou Maga in Benin.
The ultimate goal is to contribute to define strategies to combat antibiotic resistance by creating a dedicated surveillance and research network. The main objective of the SARA project is to collect, integrate, analyze and characterize data on antimicrobial resistance phenotypes, pathogens and genetic mechanisms in African countries.
The emphasis on the “One Health” approach will enable multiple sectors of activity and research to be integrated, with the aim of defining coherent control strategies both nationally and regionally.
Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in clinical samples will focus on priority pathogens (Escherichia, Klebsiella, Salmonella, Shigella and Neisseria gonorrhoeae), defined sources (urinary and blood infections; diarrhea; genital infections) and community-acquired infections. Definition of resistance mechanisms and strains will be achieved by a genomic sequencing approach. Integrated data storage, management, sharing and analysis will make use of an innovative cloud-based data lake.
Training and capacity building actions will consolidate skills in medical biology, health ecology, and epidemiological and microbiological research on antibiotic resistance.