SNIP-AFRICA is an African-European collaboration that aims to improve the way severe infections in newborns are treated.

Using an innovative approach, SNIP-AFRICA will tackle questions around antibiotic management of neonatal sepsis in Africa, in a time of rising antimicrobial resistance.

Why this project

Every year, 214,000 newborn babies die of sepsis that has become resistant to antibiotics, making it a major health threat worldwide. Low- and middle-income countries, especially in Africa, are particularly affected by this problem due to the lack of resources for diagnosis and treatment. 

There is insufficient evidence on how to manage neonatal sepsis, especially in countries with high prevalence of resistant bacteria. For these reasons, a flexible research infrastructure is urgently needed to respond efficiently to different research questions and find treatments suitable for multiple settings. 

The SNIP-AFRICA response

SNIP-AFRICA will conduct an adaptive trial and interventional studies across neonatal units in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, with the objective of identifying optimal treatment regimens and doses for difficult-to-treat infections and sepsis.

SNIP-AFRICA’s broader goal is to develop a research infrastructure for the implementation of large scale, fit-for-purpose trials in sub-Saharan Africa, to better treat neonatal sepsis in the face of rising antimicrobial resistance.

SNIP-AFRICA's pillars

Adaptable infrastructure

SNIP-AFRICA will build a research infrastructure with a lean governance structure and transparent processes. This infrastructure will support the conduct of adaptive platform trials in severe neonatal infection in sub-Saharan Africa, but will also be ready to accommodate research into other childhood infections with epidemic potential, extending beyond its original geographical and age scope.

Antibiotics for newborn babies

SNIP-AFRICA will conduct an adaptive trial (NeoSep1) and pharmacokinetic studies to identify the best antibiotic regimens and doses for difficult-to-treat neonatal infections and sepsis. Evidence from these studies will improve treatment of neonatal sepsis and reduce neonatal mortality.

Stakeholder engagement

Engaging key stakeholders, including clinical staff, families, communities and industry partners, is integral to the successful implementation of adaptive trials. SNIP-AFRICA will leverage existing collaborations between project partners and diverse stakeholders, and use participatory approaches to ensure their views and needs are addressed.

Capacity building and training

To guarantee the sustainability of this platform, SNIP-AFRICA will invest in building the capacity of African researchers and clinicians to develop and implement future adaptive and other complex trials, fostering a culture of knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

Project Partners

The SNIP-AFRICA project is coordinated by Fondazione Penta ETS (Italy) and St George’s, University of London (United Kingdom).

12 centres of excellence from African and European countries constitute the SNIP-AFRICA Consortium, making it a diverse network of partners with extensive experience in neonatal infection and antimicrobial resistance, and in designing, conducting and coordinating randomised controlled trials in Africa, including adaptive trials.