Community acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a disease caused by an infection (by bacteria, viruses or fungi) that in cases of chronic infection lead to high mortality rates particularly in children. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide with over 2 million deaths reported in 2016 by the World Health Organisation. Developing countries in sub Saharan Africa such as Malawi see some of the highest rates of the disease. CAP infections are responsible for 20% of deaths of new-borns in Malawi. Antibiotic resistance in disease causing organisms is of growing concern in countries like Malawi.

We obtained bacterial isolates from blood samples taken from Malawian children, aged 18 -60 months, diagnosed with CAP. is the primary pathogen in CAP but associated ESKAPE pathogens like and spp. and are of growing importance. These were the most common bacteria purified, isolated and characterised from these samples resulting in a unique culture collection. These pathogens have been screened for antimicrobial resistance with a variety of antibiotics to generate a resistance profile based on the minimal inhibitory concentrations of selected isolates using antibiotic susceptibility disks and by broth dilution method. Initial assessment shows current front-line therapies used by the Malawian ministry of health are ineffective in treating CAP.

Our research aims to fully characterise these strains at the genetic level to better understand the mechanisms behind how antibiotic resistance develops to aid in combating this growing issue in countries like Malawi.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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