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APMIS. 1996 Jul-Aug;104(7-8):531-8.

Cefuroxime resistance in Escherichia coli. Resistance mechanisms and prevalence.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Herlev University Hospital, Copenhagen County, Denmark.


In order to characterize cefuroxime resistance in Escherichia coli 22 clinical isolates were investigated for susceptibility to different beta-lactam antibiotics and ciprofloxacin. The production of beta-lactamases, the pattern of the major outer membrane proteins (OMPs), and the plasmid profiles were determined for these isolates. Ten of the isolates were resistant to ceftazidime, two to cefotaxime, and none was resistant to imipenem or ciprofloxacin. The dominating resistance mechanism was hyperproduction of the chromosomally encoded beta-lactamase to some extent accompanied by alterations of the OMP's. Two isolates with low ampicillin MIOs seemed solely to have alteration of the OMPs. None of the isolates produced plasmid-mediated extended-spectrum beta-lactamases. In addition, the prevalence of cefuroxime resistance was investigated. The prevalence as attained in 8704 clinical isolates of E. coli collected from Copenhagen County during a 5-year period (1990-1994) was 4.4%, but there was considerable variation among specimens from different sites of the body. Isolates from blood were much less resistant (2.5%) than isolates from the respiratory tract (9.7%).

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