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Ann Intern Med. 2003 Sep 16;139(6):483-7.

Long-term persistence of resistant Enterococcus species after antibiotics to eradicate Helicobacter pylori.

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1
University Hospital Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Antibiotic treatment selects for resistance not only in the pathogen to which it is directed but also in the indigenous microflora.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether a widely used regimen (clarithromycin, metronidazole, and omeprazole) for Helicobacter pylori eradication affects resistance development in enterococci.

DESIGN:

Cohort study.

SETTING:

Endoscopy units at 3 community hospitals in Sweden.

PATIENTS:

5 consecutive dyspeptic patients who were colonized with H. pylori, had endoscopy-confirmed duodenal ulcer, and received antibiotic treatment, and 5 consecutive controls with dyspepsia but no ulcer who did not receive treatment.

MEASUREMENTS:

Fecal samples were obtained from patients and controls before, immediately after, 1 year after, and 3 years after treatment. From each patient and sample, enterococci were isolated and analyzed for DNA fingerprint, clarithromycin susceptibility, and presence of the erm(B) gene.

RESULTS:

In treated patients, all enterococci isolated immediately after treatment showed high-level clarithromycin resistance due to erm(B). In 3 patients, resistant enterococci persisted for 1 to 3 years after treatment. No resistance developed among controls.

CONCLUSION:

A common H. pylori treatment selects for highly resistant enterococci that can persist for at least 3 years without further selection.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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