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Eur J Clin Microbiol. 1987 Aug;6(4):367-77.

World-wide development of antibiotic resistance in pneumococci.

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Department of Pathology, Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033.


Antibiotic-resistant pneumococci, especially penicillin-resistant strains, are being increasingly isolated. Pneumococci with intermediate penicillin-resistance (MIC 0.1-1.0 micrograms/ml) have been reported from many parts of the world over the past two decades, and highly resistant strains (penicillin MICs greater than or equal to 2 micrograms/ml) have also appeared. Infection may be acquired in the hospital or community, and nosocomial outbreaks may occur which require control measures to limit organism spread. Most infections occur in children with diminished host responses. Disease caused by pneumococci with intermediate penicillin-resistance may be treated with high doses of penicillin, but disease caused by highly resistant strains, especially meningitis, may require alternative therapy. Pneumococci resistant to sulfonamides, tetracyclines, erythromycin, lincomycin, clindamycin, chloramphenicol, aminoglycosides and rifampin have also appeared. Strains resistant to all the above-mentioned agents, including all beta-lactam antibiotics tested, have been reported from South Africa and Spain. Alternative therapy for resistant strains may include vancomycin, cefotaxime, cefoperazone, ceftriaxone and imipenem. Pneumococci isolated from sites suggestive of infection, especially blood and cerebrospinal fluid, should be routinely tested for penicillin-susceptibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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