Supporting global antimicrobial stewardship: antibiotic prophylaxis for the prevention of surgical site infection in low and middle income countries (LMICs): a scoping review and meta-analysis

Lesley Cooper, Jacqueline Sneddon, Daniel Kwame Afriyie, Israel A Sefah, Amanj Kurdi, Brian Godman, R. Andrew Seaton

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Background: The Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) is supporting two hospitals in Ghana to develop antimicrobial stewardship. Early intelligence gathering suggested that surgical prophylaxis was suboptimal. We reviewed the evidence for use of surgical prophylaxis to prevent surgical site infections (SSI) in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to inform this work. Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane, CINHAL and Google Scholar were searched from inception to 17 February, 2020 for trials, audits, guidelines and systematic reviews in English. Grey literature, websites and reference lists of included studies were searched. Randomised clinical trials reporting incidence of SSI following Caesarian section were included in two meta-analyses. Narrative analysis of studies that explored behaviours and attitudes was conducted. Results: This review included 51 studies related to SSI and timing of antibiotic prophylaxis in LMICs. Incidence of SSIs is higher in LMICs, infection surveillance data is poor and there is a lack of local guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis. Education to improve appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis is associated with reduction of SSI in LMICs.The random effects pooled mean risk ratio of SSI in Caesarian section was 0.77 (95% CI: 0.51 to 1.17) for pre-incision versus post-incision prophylaxis and 0.89 (95% CI: 0.55 to 1.14) for short versus long duration, Reduction in cost and nurse time was reported in shorter duration SAP. Conclusion: There is scope for improvement but interventions must include local context and address strongly held beliefs. Establishment of local multidisciplinary teams will promote ownership and sustainability of change.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdlaa070
Number of pages40
JournalJAC-Antimicrobial Resistance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2020


  • surgical site infections
  • antimicrobials
  • LMICs
  • prophylaxis
  • timing
  • antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)

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