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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2007 Aug;51(7):937-41.

Low antibiotic resistance rates in Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp but not in Enterobacter spp and Pseudomonas aeruginosa: a prospective observational study in 14 Swedish ICUs over a 5-year period.

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Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköpings Universitet, and Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden.



Intensive care units (ICUs) are hot zones for emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance because of frequent invasive procedures, antibiotic usage and transmission of bacteria. We report prospective data on antibiotic use and bacterial resistance from 14 academic and non-academic ICUs, participating in the ICU-STRAMA programme 1999-2003.


The quantity of antibiotics delivered to each ICU was calculated as defined daily doses per 1,000 occupied bed days (DDD(1,000)). Specimens for culture were taken on clinical indications and only initial isolates were considered. Species-related breakpoints according to the Swedish Reference Group for Antibiotics were used. Antibiotic resistance was defined as the sum of intermediate and resistant strains.


Mean antibiotic use increased from 1,245 DDD(1,000) in 1999 to 1,510 DDD(1,000) in 2003 (P = 0.11 for trend). Of Staphylococcus aureus, 0-1.8% were methicillin resistant (MRSA). A presumptive extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) phenotype was found in <2.4% of Escherichia coli, based on cefotaxime susceptibility, except a peak in 2002 (4.6%). Cefotaxime resistance was found in 2.6-4.9% of Klebsiella spp. Rates of resistance among Enterobacter spp. to cefotaxime (20-33%) and among Pseudomonas aeruginosa to imipenem (22-33%) and ciprofloxacin (5-21%) showed no time trend.


MRSA and cefotaxime-resistant E. coli and Klebsiella spp strains were few despite high total antibiotic consumption. This may be the result of a slow introduction of resistant strains into the ICUs, and good infection control. The cause of imipenem and ciprofloxacin resistance in P. aeruginosa could reflect the increased consumption of these agents plus spread of resistant clones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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