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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2000 Apr;36(4):261-8.

Bacteremia due to Staphylococcus aureus with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, University Pathology Building, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.


Four cases of bacteremia caused by Staphylococcus aureus with heteroresistance to vancomycin (hetero-VRSA) were described. In at least two of these four mortalities, the cause of death was temporally related to the hetero-VRSA bacteremia. The vancomycin and teicoplanin MICs of the resistant subpopulations of these four hetero-VRSA were 8 and 24 microg/ml, respectively. All isolates were producers of beta-lactamase, produced penicillin-binding protein PBP2a, and possessed the mecA gene accounting for methicillin resistance. Thickening of the peptidoglycan cell wall was observed by electron microscopy. When ampicillin was combined with vancomycin, in vitro synergism was detected using the checkerboard titration method (epsilonFIC = 0.13). The use of vancomycin plus ampicillin-sulbactam could be a viable option in treating severe hetero-VRSA infection in view of the higher affinity of ampicillin toward PBP2a.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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