Background Resistance among bacterial infections is increasingly well-documented in high-income countries; however, relatively little is known about bacterial antimicrobial resistance in lowincome countries, where the burden of infections is high. Methods We prospectively screened all adult inpatients at a referral hospital in Rwanda for suspected infection for seven months. Blood, urine, wound and sputum samples were cultured and tested for antibiotic susceptibility. We examined factors associated with resistance and compared hospital outcomes for participants with and without resistant isolates. Results We screened 19,178 patient-days, and enrolled 647 unique participants with suspected infection. We obtained 942 culture specimens, of which 357 were culture-positive specimens. Of these positive specimens, 155 (43.4%) were wound, 83 (23.2%) urine, 64 (17.9%) blood, and 55 (15.4%) sputum. Gram-negative bacteria comprised 323 (88.7%) of all isolates. Of 241 Gram-negative isolates tested for ceftriaxone, 183 (75.9%) were resistant. Of 92 Gram-negative isolates tested for the extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) positive phenotype, 66 (71.7%) were ESBL positive phenotype. Transfer from another facility, recent surgery or antibiotic exposure, and hospital-acquired infection were each associated with resistance. Mortality was 19.6% for all enrolled participants. Conclusions This is the first published prospective hospital-wide antibiogram of multiple specimen types from East Africa with ESBL testing. Our study suggests that low-resource settings with limited and inconsistent access to the full range of antibiotic classes may bear the highest burden of resistant infections. Hospital-acquired infections and recent antibiotic exposure are associated with a high proportion of resistant infections. Efforts to slow the development of resistance and supply effective antibiotics are urgently needed.
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© 2019 Sutherland et al.