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Am J Infect Control. 2000 Jun;28(3):244-50.

Increasing antimicrobial resistance in gram-negative bacilli isolated from patients in intensive care units.

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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.



We investigated gram-negative bacilli from patients in intensive care units to determine whether antimicrobial resistance was increasing.


Minimal inhibitory concentrations were determined by broth microdilution on 334 gram-negative bacilli collected in 1990, 1995, and 1998.


During the 3 study years, the types of gram-negative bacilli encountered in our intensive care units changed with proportional increases of Pseudomonas sp and decreases of inducible enterics. Dramatic increases in resistance for ceftazidime, cefotaxime, and piperacillin were paralleled between respiratory-tract isolates and inducible enterics. By 1998, ticarcillin was more active than piperacillin against most isolates except Escherichia coli and Klebsiella sp, and most isolates became more resistant to gentamicin and tobramycin.


Continuous changes in the types of gram-negative bacilli and antimicrobial resistance complicate empirical selection of antimicrobials in the intensive care units. These complications will place more emphasis on communication and strategy formations among health care workers (nurses, physicians, laboratorians, and pharmacists) in an effort to treat infections in a timely and effective manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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