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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2002 Feb;42(2):129-35.

Antimicrobial susceptibilities of Streptococcus pyogenes isolated from respiratory and skin and soft tissue infections: United States LIBRA surveillance data from 1999.

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Focus Technologies, Inc. (formerly MRL), 13665 Dulles Technology Drive, Herndon, VA 20171, USA.


This study evaluated current levels of antimicrobial resistance and associated demographic trends among clinical isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes in the United States as part of the LIBRA surveillance initiative. In 1999, 2,742 isolates of S. pyogenes (2,039 respiratory; 405 skin and soft tissue; 148 blood) were collected from 324 clinical laboratories and centrally tested for antimicrobial susceptibility by the broth microdilution method. All isolates were susceptible to penicillin (MIC(90,) < or = 0.06 microg/mL), ceftriaxone (MIC(90,) < or =0.03 microg/mL), vancomycin (MIC(90,) 0.5 microg/mL), levofloxacin (MIC(90,) 1 microg/mL), and moxifloxacin (MIC(90,) 0.25 microg/mL). Twenty-four (0.9%) azithromycin-intermediate (MIC, 1 microg/mL) and 170 (6.2%) azithromycin-resistant (MIC, > or = 2 microg/mL) isolates were identified. Regionally, azithromycin resistance varied by < 5%, ranging from 3.0% in New England to 7.7% in the Pacific region. Azithromycin resistance was significantly higher (P < 0.001) among patients aged 15-64 years (8.3%) than patients < or =14 years (4.3%). This study found higher rates of macrolide resistance among S. pyogenes than previously reported in the United States and suggests that macrolide resistance is common among respiratory isolates from both younger and older patients. Fluoroquinolones (moxifloxacin > levofloxacin) demonstrated potent in vitro activity against all isolates of S. pyogenes tested, including those from skin and soft tissue infections. Given the higher rates of macrolide resistance reported in other countries and the seriousness of invasive infections, continued antimicrobial surveillance of S. pyogenes in the United States would be prudent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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