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J Clin Microbiol. 2003 Jan;41(1):483-5.

Antimicrobial activities against 84 Listeria monocytogenes isolates from patients with systemic listeriosis at a comprehensive cancer center (1955-1997).

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  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021,USA.


Listeriosis is a serious complication in patients undergoing treatment for cancer. We present antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of 84 clinical Listeria monocytogenes isolates. During 1955 to 1997, in vitro susceptibility for penicillin (97.6%), ampicillin (90.7%), erythromycin (98.8%), tetracycline (96.9%), and gentamicin (98.0%) remained unchanged. All isolates were susceptible to amikacin, ciprofloxacin, imipenem, rifampin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX), and vancomycin. High prevalence of clindamycin resistance (96.2%) was unexpected. Ampicillin plus gentamicin is standard therapy for systemic listerosis, and TMP-SMX may be used for patients with beta-lactam intolerance. In vitro susceptibility profiles for carbapenem and fluoronated quinolone are promising, although clinical validation is critically needed before routine use is advocated, especially for listeric patients with severe cellular immune defects.

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