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Clin Infect Dis. 1992 Jul;15(1):99-105.

Trends in antimicrobial resistance of clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae in Bellvitge Hospital, Barcelona, Spain (1979-1990).

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Department of Microbiology, Hospital de Bellvitge, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain.


From January 1979 to December 1990 we studied the susceptibility of 1,492 pneumococcal strains isolated from adult patients in Bellvitge Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, to nine antimicrobial agents. Among clinically significant pneumococci, the incidence of penicillin-resistant strains increased from 4.3% in 1979 to 40% in 1990, and that of erythromycin-resistant strains also rose from 0% in 1979 to 9.4% in 1990. On the other hand, the incidence of strains resistant to tetracycline decreased from 76.1% to 37.6%, as did that of chloramphenicol-resistant strains, from 56.5% to 29.4%. The incidence of co-trimoxazole-resistant strains was about 40% throughout the study. Even more alarming was the finding that about 70% of penicillin-resistant strains showed multiple resistance to non-beta-lactam antibiotics. All pneumococci were susceptible to vancomycin, and all but six were susceptible to rifampin. We observed that isolates from cerebrospinal fluid and the respiratory tract were significantly more resistant to penicillin than were isolates from blood. The majority of strains (95%) belonged to serogroups or serotypes included in the 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine and 77.6% of penicillin-resistant strains belonged to groups 23, 6, 9, and 19.

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