Johannesburg, South Africa, 30th January 2024 - This week, expert scientists and clinicians from PediCAP and SNIP-AFRICA, two major research partnerships combatting antimicrobial resistance, convene in Johannesburg to present groundbreaking results and ways to advance antibiotic research tailored to the needs of children and their families.

Funded by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), a partnership between Europe and Africa to tackle infectious diseases, the two international collaborations are set to strengthen the global response to antimicrobial resistance, one of the most critical threats to public health and development worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance was responsible for 1.27 million global deaths in 2019, with 1 in 5 being children under the age of 5. African countries, due to limited resources and variable access to optimal medications, are disproportionately affected by rising levels of antimicrobial resistance, posing significant challenges to child health.

Building on a successful collaboration in paediatric infectious diseases, researchers and clinicians from PediCAP and SNIP-AFRICA, both led by Penta - Child Health Research, are pioneering innovative interventional research to address the urgent challenge of childhood infections like pneumonia and neonatal sepsis in children in Africa.

Over the past five years, PediCAP's main clinical trial has evaluated the optimal drug, dose and duration of oral step-down antibiotics for children aged between 2 months to 6 years, hospitalised with severe or very severe community-acquired pneumonia.
The results of PediCAP's main trial will be discussed at the upcoming meeting on February 1st-2nd and will be widely disseminated thereafter.

SNIP-AFRICA will conduct a clinical trial and pharmacokinetic studies to identify the optimal antibiotic dose and regimens that can significantly reduce mortality rates caused by drug-resistant sepsis in newborns.

Over 214,000 newborn babies die of drug-resistant sepsis every year. This is a rising and urgent challenge, especially among newborns in African countries. It is crucial to identify new treatment regimens which could be lifesaving for newborns. It is important to identify the right drug(s) at the right dosage to treat newborns with sepsis”, says Sally Ellis, Children’s Antibiotics Project Leader for the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP). SNIP-AFRICA will formally commence its activities with an in-person meeting in Johannesburg on January 30th-31st.

Both projects aspire to establish an active community of practice for researchers and clinicians, ensuring that research and research findings are integrated into medical practice. Furthermore, PediCAP and SNIP-AFRICA’s long-term goal is to equip participating teams in the South and the North with lasting capability to run, lead and design innovative interventional research, emphasising a commitment to addressing local needs, and tailoring effective interventions to the African context. The projects will cement the leading role of EDCTP as a funder supporting pioneering research into childhood antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance.

As PediCAP concludes its trial and SNIP-AFRICA kicks off its activities, these projects mark a pivotal moment in advancing the evidence base for infectious diseases impacting neonates and children.

The Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, University of Antwerp, is a partner in SNIP-AFRICA and is involved in building laboratory capacity to enable better and quicker diagnosis of neonatal sepsis in African sites as well as in setting up state-of-the-art genomic approaches to understand the epidemiology and antibiotic resistance of pathogens causing neonatal sepsis in African hospitals.

Read more here.

Contact information

For media inquiries and further information, please contact: 

Francesca Mazzetto - Penta Senior Communications Manager 

+39 348 6151202