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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1999 May;43(5):1177-82.

In vitro development of resistance to five quinolones and amoxicillin-clavulanate in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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Department of Pathology (Clinical Microbiology), Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.


The ability of 50 sequential subcultures in subinhibitory concentrations of ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, grepafloxacin, sparfloxacin, trovafloxacin, and amoxicillin-clavulanate to select for resistance was studied for six penicillin-susceptible and four penicillin-intermediate pneumococci. Subculturing in ciprofloxacin, grepafloxacin, levofloxacin, and sparfloxacin led to selection of mutants requiring increased MICs for all 10 strains, with MICs rising from (i) 0.5 to 4.0 to (ii) 4.0 to 32.0 microgram/ml after 7 to 12 passages for ciprofloxacin, from (i) 0.06 to 0.25 to (ii) 0.5 to 8.0 microgram/ml after 5 to 23 passages for grepafloxacin, from (i) 0.5 to 1.0 to (ii) 4.0 to 64 microgram/ml after 14 to 49 passages for levofloxacin, and from (i) 0.125 to 0.25 to (ii) 1.0 to 16.0 microgram/ml after 8 to 26 passages for sparfloxacin. Subculturing in trovafloxacin led to increased MICs for eight strains, with MICs rising from (i) 0.06 to 0.125 to (ii) 0.5 to 8.0 microgram/ml after 6 to 28 passages. Subculturing in amoxicillin-clavulanate led to raised MICs for only one strain, with the MIC rising from 0.015 to 0. 125 microgram/ml after 24 passages. Double mutations in both ParC and GyrA led to high-level quinolone resistance when ParC mutations were at S79. Trovafloxacin MICs were 1 to 2 microgram/ml in double mutants with ParC mutations at positions other than S79 (e.g., D83). Mutations in ParE (at D435, R447, and E474) and GyrB (at S405, D406, and D435) were found in four and six mutants, respectively. In the presence of reserpine, 29 mutants had lower ciprofloxacin MICs (2 to 16 times lower), 8 mutants had lower levofloxacin MICs (2 times), and one mutant had a lower trovafloxacin MIC (2 times), suggesting the involvement of an efflux mechanism. In contrast to the case for quinolones, subculturing in the presence of amoxicillin-clavulanate did not select for resistance to this drug.

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