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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1999 Oct;43(10):2417-22.

Multicenter study of in vitro susceptibility of the Bacteroides fragilis group, 1995 to 1996, with comparison of resistance trends from 1990 to 1996.

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Departments of Medicine, Pathology, and Community Health, New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111-1526, USA.


Antimicrobial resistance, including plasmid-mediated resistance, among the species of the Bacteroides fragilis group is well documented. An analysis of the in vitro susceptibility of B. fragilis group species referred between 1995 and 1996 as well as during a 7-year (1990 to 1996), prospective, multicenter survey of over 4,000 clinical isolates of B. fragilis group species was undertaken to review trends in the percent resistance to and geometric mean MICs of the antibiotics tested. There was a trend toward a decrease in the geometric mean MICs of most beta-lactam antibiotics, while the percent resistance to most agents was less affected. Within the species B. fragilis, the geometric mean MICs showed significant (P < 0.05) decreases for piperacillin-tazobactam, ticarcillin-clavulanate, piperacillin, ticarcillin, ceftizoxime, cefotetan, and cefmetazole; a significant increase was observed for clindamycin and cefoxitin. For the non-B. fragilis species, a significant decrease in the geometric mean MICs was observed for meropenem, ampicillin-sulbactam, ticarcillin-clavulanate, piperacillin, ticarcillin, ceftizoxime, and cefmetazole; a significant increase was observed for cefoxitin. Significant increases in percent resistance were observed within the B. fragilis strains for ticarcillin and ceftizoxime and within the non-B. fragilis isolates for cefotetan. Significant increases in percent resistance among all B. fragilis group species were observed for clindamycin, while imipenem showed no significant change in resistance trends. The trend analysis for trovafloxacin was limited to 3 years, since the quinolone was tested only in 1994, 1995, and 1996. During the 7 years analyzed, there was no resistance to metronidazole or chloramphenicol observed. The data demonstrate that resistance among the B. fragilis group species has decreased in the past several years, the major exception being clindamycin. The majority of the resistance decrease has been for the beta-lactams in B. fragilis, compared to other species. The reasons for these changes are not readily apparent.

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