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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1995 Jan;39(1):256-9.

High frequency of strains multiply resistant to ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline isolated from patients with shigellosis in northeastern Brazil during the period 1988 to 1993.

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Clinical Research Unit/Clinical Pharmacology, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil.


The occurrence and antimicrobial resistance pattern of Shigella isolates obtained from persons in community and hospital-based studies of diarrhea and matched controls in northeastern Brazil were studied. The isolation rate of Shigella spp. from patients with diarrhea during 1988 to 1993 varied from 4.5% (26 of 575) for the urban community of Gonçalves Dias to 6.7% (12 of 179) and 5.9% (7 of 119) for Hospital Infantil and Hospital Universitário, respectively. Of the 55 Shigella isolates (45 from patients with diarrhea, 8 from controls, and 2 undetermined) 73% (40 of 55) were Shigella flexneri, 16% (9 of 55) were S. sonnei, 7% (4 of 55) were S. boydii, and 4% (2 of 55) were S. dysenteriae. Of 39 S. flexneri strains, over half were resistant to ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or both. Over 64% were resistant to streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline. Overall, 82% of all S. flexneri isolates were resistant to four or more antimicrobial agents tested. As elsewhere, in the northeast of Brazil, ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole are no longer reliable for treatment of S. flexneri infection. Most Shigella strains were resistant to four or more antimicrobial agents. Nalidixic acid was still useful for treatment of infections due to S. flexneri.

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