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Clin Infect Dis. 1992 Jul;15(1):84-94.

Antimicrobial resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae: a South African perspective.

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South African Institute for Medical Research, Johannesburg.


Resistance to penicillin among South African strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae increased from 4.9% in 1979 to 14.4% in 1990. Except for resistance to co-trimoxazole (44%), resistance to other antimicrobial agents remained relatively low. Multiply resistant strains belonged mainly to serovars 6B, 19A, 14, and, more recently, 23F. Use of chloramphenicol to treat meningitis caused by strains relatively resistant to penicillin proved to be unsatisfactory, probably because of the inadequate bactericidal activity of chloramphenicol against these strains. Spread of penicillin-resistant nasopharyngeal strains in pediatric wards was most common among children who received antimicrobial therapy. Penicillin-binding protein (PBP) patterns were shown to vary in resistant clinical strains. Interspecies transfer of penicillin resistance between Streptococcus mitis and S. pneumoniae was demonstrated and antigenic homology was found in PBPs 1A and 2B of strains belonging to these species. Restriction enzyme mapping following DNA amplification of the PBP 2B gene revealed six arrangements among South African strains within serogroup 19. Despite extensive studies in South Africa and several other countries, many questions with regard to the global problem of antimicrobial resistance among S. pneumoniae strains remain unanswered, especially those that relate to prevalence in developing regions of the world.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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