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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 1997 Feb;8(1):37-43.

Klebsiella and extended spectrum beta-lactamases.

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Department of Medicine, The New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, 56-45 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355, USA.


During the past 14 years a rapid, world-wide increase in prevalence of Klebsiella pneumoniae resistant to late generation cephalosporins has occurred. A growing number of newly identified plasmid encoded beta-lactam hydrolyzing enzymes has broadened the spectrum of primitive beta-lactamases allowing inactivation of a wide variety of beta-lactam agents. The extrachromosomal genes which code for these enzymes often exist with genes expressing resistance to several other classes of antibacterial agents, potentially arming Klebsiella pneumoniae with resistance to all therapeutically available antibiotics. More focused surveillance studies and individualized strategies within institutions are necessary to reduce this insidious trend.

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