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Ann Saudi Med. 2005 May-Jun;25(3):239-42.

Prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae in a general hospital.

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Almana General Hospital, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia.



The prevalence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) varies between countries and institutions. We studied the prevalence of ESBL among clinical isolates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae and analyzed patterns of susceptibilities to different antimicrobial agents in a general hospital in Saudi Arabia over a 15-month period.


A total of 2455 clinical isolates of E. coli and K. pneumoniae were tested for ESBL production by double-disk diffusion. The minimum inhibitory concentration to imipenem, meropenem, piperacillin-tazobactam, cefepime, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and amikacin were determined by the agar dilution method.


Of the 2455 isolates of E. coli and K. pneumoniae tested, 268 (11%) produced ESBL. The ESBL phenotype was detected in 10.3% of 1674 E. coli isolates and 12.2% of 781 K. pneumoniae isolates. The majority of these isolates were from urine (57.5%) and wounds (17%). Only 7% of the blood culture isolates were ESBL-producing. Overall, carbapenems (imipenem and meropenem) had good activity against the ESBL-producing isolates tested (over 92% of isolates were susceptible). There was no difference in the activity of imipenem and meropenem against the ESBL-producing E. coli or K. pneumoniae. Over 66% of the isolates were susceptible to piperacillin-tazobactam. Susceptibilities of the isolates to amikacin varied, ranging from 72.8% for E. coli to 62% for K. pneumoniae. Gentamicin, ciprofloxacin and cefepime were active against 58.6%, 55% and 22.8% of the isolates, respectively.


Our findings demonstrate the increasing incidence of infection with ESBL-producing bacteria, and the high rates of antimicrobial resistance encountered among them. Clinicians should be familiar with the clinical importance of these enzymes and potential strategies for dealing with them.

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