STAPHRICA and AFRISTAPHNET are two hitherto independent consortia that came together to form a consolidated network with the following objectives:
- To establish a network of researchers working on S. aureus in Africa;
- To develop human capacity in the identification, antibiotic susceptibility testing, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis of S. aureus in Africa;
- To conduct a retrospective study on the genomic epidemiology of S. aureus in Africa;
- To set up a prospective surveillance study on S. aureus disease in Africa; and
- To obtain funding to support research projects conducted by the Network.
The first kick-off meeting took place at the University of Ghana, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and brought together biomedical scientists and physicians with research focus on Staphylococcus aureus from ten African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique, South-Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Gambia), and the United Kingdom (UK). The meeting presented a platform for the researchers to:
- Share current research work on S. aureus;
- Plan a training course/programme on laboratory identification, antibiotic susceptibility testing, sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of S. aureus;
- Plan a retrospective study on the molecular epidemiology of S. aureus in Africa, based on existing human and animal isolate collection;
- Plan a prospective surveillance study of S. aureus in Africa, using whole-genome sequencing (WGS);
- Identify funding opportunities to support the network and research projects; and
- Plan a review article that will position the network in the scientific community.
The meeting was characterized with lively discussions and relevant contributions from participants. A major highlight of the meeting was the merger of the two consortia into a new entity; StaphNetAfrica: www.staphnetafrica.org