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Emerging resistance among bacterial pathogens in the intensive care unit--a European and North American Surveillance study (2000-2002).

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Focus Technologies, Herndon, Virginia 20171, USA.



Globally ICUs are encountering emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and for some pathogens there are few therapeutic options available.


Antibiotic in vitro susceptibility data of predominant ICU pathogens during 2000-2 were analyzed using data from The Surveillance Network (TSN) Databases in Europe (France, Germany and Italy), Canada, and the United States (US).


Oxacillin resistance rates among Staphylococcus aureus isolates ranged from 19.7% to 59.4%. Penicillin resistance rates among Streptococcus pneumoniae varied from 2.0% in Germany to as high as 20.2% in the US; however, ceftriaxone resistance rates were comparably lower, ranging from 0% in Germany to 3.4% in Italy. Vancomycin resistance rates among Enterococcus faecalis were < or = 4.5%; however, among Enterococcus faecium vancomycin resistance rates were more frequent ranging from 0.8% in France to 76.3% in the United States. Putative rates of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production among Enterobacteriaceae were low, <6% among Escherichia coli in the five countries studied. Ceftriaxone resistance rates were generally lower than or similar to piperacillin-tazobactam for most of the Enterobacteriaceae species examined. Fluoroquinolone resistance rates were generally higher for E. coli (6.5% - 13.9%), Proteus mirabilis (0-34.7%), and Morganella morganii (1.6-20.7%) than other Enterobacteriaceae spp (1.5-21.3%). P. aeruginosa demonstrated marked variation in beta-lactam resistance rates among countries. Imipenem was the most active compound tested against Acinetobacter spp., based on resistance rates.


There was a wide distribution in resistance patterns among the five countries. Compared with other countries, Italy showed the highest resistance rates to all the organisms with the exception of Enterococcus spp., which were highest in the US. This data highlights the differences in resistance encountered in intensive care units in Europe and North America and the need to determine current local resistance patterns by which to guide empiric antimicrobial therapy for intensive care infections.

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