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J Clin Microbiol. 2007 Nov;45(11):3701-6. Epub 2007 Sep 12.

Antimicrobial susceptibility and genetic characteristics of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates indicating possible nosocomial transmission routes in a community hospital in Japan.

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Department of Infectious Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Kurume University, Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan.


A clinical study was designed to study Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates recovered from a community hospital in Japan from April 2001 to November 2002. A total of 73 isolates were defined as derived from inpatient, outpatient, and hospital staff groups. The MIC results showed that 20 strains (27.4%) were susceptible to penicillin G, 39 strains (53.4%) had intermediate resistance, and 14 strains (19.2%) had full resistance. Low susceptibility to macrolides was also detected: 32.9%, 32.9%, and 34.2% of all strains were resistant to erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin, respectively. Thirty strains (41%) were resistant to at least two different kinds of antibiotics. Nineteen disparate serotypes were detected besides two nontypeable strains, and the predominant serotypes were 19F and 23F. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern A was dominant in the serotype 19F group; this pattern was similar to that of the international clone Taiwan 19F. A total of 10 different patterns were detected in the 23F group and were distinguishable from those of the international clones Spain 23F and Taiwan 23F. Pattern b strains were identified in the same ward, and pattern d strains were found both in patients with nosocomial pneumococcal infections (NPI) and in outpatients. In conclusion, drug-resistant S. pneumoniae was spreading rapidly, especially isolates of the serotype 19F and 23F groups. PFGE data revealed interpatient transmission and suggested that there might be some association between NPI patient strains and outpatient strains.

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