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MBIRA (Mortality from Bacterial Infections Resistant to Antibiotics)  

To better understand the mortality burden of antimicrobial resistance in low and middle income countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Thanks to an investment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a team of researchers led by a central group at LSHTM are conducting the first multi-national prospective observational study to better understand the mortality burden due to AMR in bloodstream infections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mbira instrument

Mbira instrument

Research partners

The MBIRA study team is comprised of dozens of researchers working across 9 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

About
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Petri dish in gloved hand with swab in other hand
Swabbing in the antimicrobial resistance lab. Credit: Jon Spaull

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of a range of infections caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi globally. Whilst AMR is a global issue, it has major implications for African countries where severe bacterial infections are common but access to effective antibiotic treatment remains limited. To date, we lack reliable estimates of the impact of AMR in low and middle income country (LMIC) settings, which limits our capacity to address the increasing threat.

Thanks to an investment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a team of researchers across nine African countries, led by PI Alex Aiken at LSHTM, are conducting the first multi-national prospective observational study to better understand the mortality burden due to AMR in bloodstream infections in sub-Saharan Africa.

This substantial, multi-site study will provide generalizable, credible estimates to policy makers and clinicians to drive local, national and global AMR policy. With appropriate estimates of the burden of AMR, countries will be able to make more informed decisions on resource allocation, policy-making, and committing to new research.

The MBIRA project is focussed on bloodstream infections (=bacteraemia) caused by Gram-negative enteric bacteria (Enterobacteria, such as E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) and includes patients of all age groups, from neonates to adults. The aim is to gather data across a range of hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa to inform larger global burden of disease analyses.

Across our partner research sites, data collection will take place in local hospitals from November 2020 and continue through to early 2022. We anticipate the first findings to be analysed by mid-2022.

 

Research partners
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The MBIRA study team is comprised of dozens of researchers working across 9 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including staff based at the following research institutions:

  • Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (Lusaka, Zambia)
  • Haramaya University (Harar, Ethiopia)
  • Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (Moshi, Tanzania)
  • KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (Kilifi, Kenya)
  • Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (Blantyre, Malawi)
  • National Hospital Abuja (Abuja, Nigeria)
  • Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
  • University of Ghana Medical School (Accra, Ghana)
  • Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako (Bamako, Mali)

The study aims to include patients from hospitals affiliated with each of our research partners above, all collecting the same types of data prospectively. We hope to recruit a total of approximately 1,200 patients with bacteraemia across all sites in the study, matching to approximately 2,400 non-infected patients in the same hospitals.

Map of Africa showing hospital and medical centre sites which are partnered with MBIRA project