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Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Jul 15;43(2):165-71. Epub 2006 Jun 5.

Epidemiological profile of linezolid-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci.

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Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



Surveillance studies have shown that <0.1% of coagulase-negative staphylococci are linezolid resistant; however, at our institution, 4% of such organisms were found to be resistant. We investigated the risk factors for and the epidemiological profile of linezolid-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci.


Susceptibility testing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis were performed to analyze the genetic relatedness of both linezolid-resistant and linezolid-susceptible isolates. Clinical data were retrieved from medical records, and a case-case-control study was performed to identify unique risk factors for linezolid resistance.


Isolates recovered from 25 patients with linezolid-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci were examined; all but 1 of the isolates were identified as Staphylococcus epidermidis, and all but 1 had a minimum inhibitory concentration of linezolid of >256 microg/mL. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed that 21 (84%) of 25 linezolid-resistant isolates exhibited genetic relatedness, whereas linezolid-susceptible isolates were of diverse clones. Unique, independent predictors of linezolid resistance included receipt of linezolid in the 3 months preceding isolation of the coagulase-negative staphylococci (odds ratio, 20.6; 95% confidence interval, 5.8-73.0).


Linezolid-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci have emerged at our institution and are predominately of a single clone. We believe that the most likely scenario to explain this emergence is that person-to-person spread of linezolid-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci led to establishment of skin colonization with the strain. Subsequent use of linezolid was followed by selection of the linezolid-resistant strain, which then became the dominant skin flora. The potential for a parallel scenario involving clonal dissemination followed by selection of linezolid-resistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a real possibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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