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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2004 Mar;23(3):254-61.

Antimicrobial resistance among non-fermentative Gram-negative bacilli isolated from the respiratory tracts of Italian inpatients: a 3-year surveillance study by the Italian Epidemiological Survey.

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Institute of Microbiology, Catholic University of the Sacred Hearth, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy.


The Italian Epidemiological Survey evaluated antibiotic susceptibility of non-fermentative Gram-negative bacilli isolated from inpatient respiratory-tract specimens collected throughout Italy during 1997-1999. The minimal inhibitory concentrations of 14 antibiotics for 1474 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains, 307 Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strains and 114 Acinetobacter baumannii strains were determined in 57 clinical microbiology laboratories by means of a standardised micro-dilution method. The most active drugs against P. aeruginosa isolates were meropenem (81% susceptible) and amikacin (80% susceptible). Imipenem and meropenem proved to be the only agents active against A. baumannii isolates, although 13 and 16%, respectively, of strains were resistant to these drugs. Trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) showed activity only against S. maltophilia isolates (83% susceptible). A total of 185 multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa isolates (resistant to piperacillin, ceftazidime, gentamicin, and imipenem) were found. Resistance rates and trends showed consistent regional variations, including sharp increases from 1997 to 1999 in imipenem resistance among P. aeruginosa isolates from central and southern Italy.

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