Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Sep;31(3):684-9. Epub 2000 Oct 4.

Analysis of 42 cases of septicemia caused by an epidemic strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: evidence of resistance to vancomycin.

Author information

Infectious Diseases Research Unit, University of Manchester, Central Manchester Healthcare Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Recent case reports of vancomycin treatment failures in the United States, Japan, and France have prompted a retrospective analysis of 42 cases of septicemia caused by epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain 15 (EMRSA-15), which is the most prevalent epidemic strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus in the United Kingdom; all cases occurred in a teaching hospital in Manchester, United Kingdom, between 1994 and 1998. Mortality was lowest (4%) in patients with rifampin-susceptible isolates treated with vancomycin and rifampin. It rose to 38% in patients who were treated with both antibiotics but in whom the organism became resistant to rifampin during therapy, and it reached 78% in patients who had rifampin-resistant isolates or in whom rifampin was contraindicated (P<.0001; Fisher exact test, 2-tailed). All isolates were susceptible to vancomycin by conventional laboratory testing, but susceptibility was lost by growth in vancomycin in vitro, becoming resistant at a minimum inhibitory concentration of 8 mg/L. This was associated with accumulation of cell-wall material. The deoxyribonucleic acid fingerprint remained unchanged. This study suggests that rifampin played a key role in the prevention of deaths caused by an epidemic strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus that readily gave rise to a subpopulation with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center