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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1989 Apr;33(4):460-6.

Antimicrobial resistance in nosocomial isolates of Staphylococcus haemolyticus.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0049.


Staphylococcus haemolyticus is frequently cultured from hospitalized patients and is characterized by resistance to multiple antimicrobial agents. We found that S. haemolyticus represented 70 of 524 (13%) coagulase-negative staphylococcal isolates identified by the clinical microbiology laboratories of two hospitals over 2 months. S. haemolyticus isolates were recovered from wounds (44%), urine (26%), blood (10%), and other sources (20%). All S. haemolyticus isolates were tested for susceptibility to six antimicrobial agents; 77% were resistant to three or more agents, and 41% were resistant to five or six agents. In addition, among 47 multiply resistant isolates, high MICs (greater than or equal to 6.25 micrograms/ml) of vancomycin (62% of isolates) and teicoplanin (91% of isolates) were found. DNA probes which were derived from S. epidermidis or S. aureus and which contained sequences associated with resistance to antimicrobial agents were used to detect specific genes in the total cellular and plasmid DNAs of 10 resistant S. haemolyticus isolates. Resistance gene probes and the numbers of resistant isolates hybridizing were as follows: methicillin, 10 of 10; gentamicin, 9 of 10; erythromycin, 7 of 10; and trimethoprim, 0 of 10. Genes for resistance to methicillin were found only in chromosomal locations, genes for resistance to gentamicin were found in both chromosomal and plasmid locations, and genes for resistance to erythromycin were found in plasmid locations only. With the exception of trimethoprim resistance determinants, similar genes were found among concurrently isolated multiply resistant S. epidermidis isolates from our hospitals. S. haemolyticus is a potentially important nosocomial species which readily acquires antimicrobial resistance genes and which shares, to some extent, in a common gene pool with S. epidermidis.

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