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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2000 Mar;14(1):67-81, viii.

Bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents in Latin America. The giant is awakening.

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  • 1Infectious Disease and Microbiology Unit, Hospital Vargas de Caracas, Venezuela.


Resistant bacteria are emerging in Latin America as a real threat to the favorable outcome of infections in community- and hospital-acquired infections. Despite present extensive surveillance, healthcare workers who most need the information may be unaware of this growing problem. Outbreaks of meningococci with diminished susceptibility to penicillin have been reported in the region; a constant increase of resistance to penicillin in pneumococci and poor activity of commonly used oral antibiotics for the treatment of community-acquired urinary tract infections have made the treatment of these infections more difficult. Reports from tertiary hospitals are similar to many other areas of the world, with increasing frequency of Klebsiella pneumoniae-carrying extended-spectrum beta-lactamase, multiresistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumanni in ICU settings, and reports of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. A surveillance network readily accessible to those who prescribe antibiotics in Latin America is highly desirable.

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