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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2000 Jun;37(2):115-25.

Respiratory tract pathogens isolated from patients hospitalized with suspected pneumonia: frequency of occurrence and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns from the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program (United States and Canada, 1997).

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  • 1Medical Microbiology Division, Department of Pathology, C606 GH, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Thirty-seven sentinel hospitals (29 in the United States [US]; eight in Canada) collected bacterial isolates from hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of pneumonia. The antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of these pathogens were determined to more than 60 agents (40 reported) using the reference broth microdilution method described by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards. The five most frequently recorded species among the 2757 isolates collected during the study were (no. tested/%): Staphylococcus aureus (632/22.9%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (498/18. 1%), Haemophilus influenzae (284/10.3%), Klebsiella spp. (240/8.7%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (213/7.7%). There was a significant difference in the susceptibility to antimicrobials between the US and Canada for S. aureus to oxacillin (50.1% versus 93.8% susceptible, respectively), gentamicin (78.7% versus 97.8%), and fluoroquinolones (49.5 to 53.0% versus 89.8 to 94.9%). Amikacin (92. 8% susceptible) was the most active antimicrobial agent against P. aeruginosa, and meropenem was the most potent beta-lactam. Against H. influenzae, most drugs retained a high level of activity, whilst against the S. pneumoniae, only the newer fluoroquinolones (gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, sparfloxacin) remained highly effective in vitro. Only two antimicrobial agents (imipenem and meropenem) were >99% active against the Klebsiella spp. and Enterobacter spp. isolated in this survey (possess extended spectrum beta-lactamases or hyperproduction of Amp C cephalosporins); cefepime (95.6-100.0% susceptible) was significantly more active than other cephalosporins tested. Clonal, epidemic outbreaks of multiply resistant strains were very rare in monitored hospitals. In conclusion, important differences exist between the US and Canada in the susceptibility patterns of some respiratory tract pathogens to commonly used antimicrobial agents with Canadian strains generally being more susceptible to currently available antimicrobial agents.

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