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Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Sep;25(3):647-53.

Reemergence of gentamicin-susceptible strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: roles of an infection control program and changes in aminoglycoside use.

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Service de Bactériologie-Virologie-Hygiène, Hôpital Henri Mondor-Université Paris XII, Créteil, France.


The spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in our hospital in the 1980s correlated with increasing acquisition of resistance to antibiotics including gentamicin, rifampin, and fluoroquinolones. During the period 1993-1995, there was a major change in clinical MRSA isolates: the percentage of aminoglycoside-resistant MRSA isolates decreased from 75% to 52%, while the proportion of heterogeneous MRSA strains susceptible to gentamicin, rifampin, and tetracycline increased gradually from 4.9% to 27.5%. We used five epidemiological markers (i.e., antibiotyping, phage typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and restriction analysis of PCR amplified coagulase and protein A genes) to characterize recent isolates. With use of these techniques, we confirmed the persistence of the aminoglycoside-resistant MRSA clone and identified a clone of erythromycin-susceptible strains among the gentamicin-susceptible isolates and found that the remaining strains were diverse. These changes were due to the introduction of various MRSA strains from outside the hospital, while implementation of infection control measures in 1991 could have led to reduced transmission of the aminoglycoside-resistant MRSA strain. Changes in antibiotic prescribing patterns that resulted in reduced selective pressure from gentamicin may have contributed to the spread of gentamicin-susceptible MRSA strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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