Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen causing invasive disease with high associated morbidity and mortality. The pathogen has acquired resistance against virtually all antimicrobials available, and in the recent years, the worldwide emergence of multiresistant S. aureus clones in hospitals and communities has spurred significant concern for local and global health initiatives.
In contrast to the classical tropical diseases, however, almost nothing is known on the strain phylogeny and prevalence, disease type, and associated morbidity and mortality of infections due to S. aureus in most African countries. This Network founded by four sub-Saharan African and five German groups thus focusses on a registry of S. aureus community-acquired disease, on the isolation and characterization of clinical isolates with advanced methods for typing and virulence factor expression, and on GLP-conform long-term isolate handling and scientific database exchange.
Emerging information will allow to associate S. aureus biology with course of disease, and thus provide a basis for future rational multifaceted interventions including diagnostics, therapy, and preventive measures tailored to the resources and requirements of sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, case ascertainment and isolate characterization based on shared criteria and techniques will foster the combat against this pathogen in African countries as well as in Germany.
This Network has been founded upon a Proposal by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) on German-African Cooperation Projects in Infectiology.