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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2003 Jul;22(1):35-47.

Natural antibiotic susceptibility of strains of Serratia marcescens and the S. liquefaciens complex: S. liquefaciens sensu stricto, S. proteamaculans and S. grimesii.

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Immunologie, Pharmazeutische Mikrobiologie, Universität Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 168, D-53115 Bonn, Germany.


The natural susceptibility of 77 strains of Serratia marcescens and 41 strains of the S. liquefaciens complex (S. liquefaciens sensu stricto (n=21), S. grimesii (n=10), S. proteamaculans (n=10)) to 70 antibiotics was examined using a microdilution procedure in Isosensitest broth (all strains) and cation-adjusted Mueller Hinton broth (some strains). All species were naturally resistant to benzylpenicillin, oxacillin, cefaclor, cefazolin, cefuroxime, numerous macrolides, lincosamides, streptogramins, glycopeptides, rifampicin and fusidic acid. Uniform natural sensitivity was found to most aminoglycosides, several acylureidopenicillins, ticarcillin, newer cephalosporins, carbapenems, aztreonam, quinolones and antifolates. Species-related differences in susceptibility affecting clinical assessment criteria were found for several agents. S. marcescens was less susceptible to some aminoglycosides than species of the S. liquefaciens group. It was the only species that was uniformly naturally resistant to tetracycline, amoxycillin, amoxycillin/clavulanate and loracarbef. Species of the S. liquefaciens group were naturally resistant and intermediate or naturally intermediate to the latter agents. Differences in susceptibility among the species of the S. liquefaciens complex were generally small. S. proteamaculans was most susceptible to sulphamethoxazole. S. liquefaciens sensu stricto was less susceptible than S. grimesii and S. proteamaculans to tetracyclines, chloramphenicol and nitrofurantoin; it was the only species uniformly naturally resistant to fosfomycin. This study suggested that all species examined probably express chromosomally-encoded AmpC beta-lactamases, but the amount of enzyme may vary from species to species. The naturally-occurring low-level expression of the S. marcescens aminoglycoside 6'-acetyltransferase AAC(6')-Ic and its absence in other Serratia spp. was supported by the data. All species of the S. liquefaciens complex should be considered as probable agents of human diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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