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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1998 Oct;42(4):489-95.

The prevalence of low- and high-level mupirocin resistance in staphylococci from 19 European hospitals.

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Institute for Medical Microbiology and Virology, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.


The topical agent mupirocin plays a crucial role in strategies designed to control outbreaks of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The extent of high- or low-level mupirocin resistance amongst S. aureus from European hospitals is not known. Six hundred and ninety-nine S. aureus and 249 coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) derived from blood, hospital-acquired pneumonia or skin and soft tissue infections from 19 European hospitals were tested for susceptibility to mupirocin and oxacillin. Methicillin sensitivity was found in 72% and 32% of S. aureus and CNS, respectively. High-level mupirocin resistance was detected in 1.6% of S. aureus and 5.6% of CNS isolates, while low-level mupirocin resistance was detected in 2.3% of S. aureus and 7.2% of CNS isolates. Amongst S. aureus, methicillin-resistant isolates were twice as likely to have high- or low-level mupirocin resistance. This difference was less pronounced in CNS. No relationship was found between the site of infection and prevalence of mupirocin resistance. High- and low-level mupirocin resistance was detected amongst staphylococci from 10 and 16 of the hospitals studied, respectively. To maintain the relatively low prevalence of mupirocin resistance in Europe amongst both S. aureus and CNS, the prudent use of mupirocin restricted to defined infection control strategies should be emphasized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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