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International Journal of Infectious Diseases: Volume 3, Number 3
Antimicrobial Resistance among Community-Acquired Pneumonia Isolates in Europe: First Results from the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program 1997
Ad C. Fluit, PhD; Franz-Josef Schmitz, MD; Mark E. Jones, PhD; Jacques Acar, MD; Renu Gupta, MD; Jan Verhoef, MD; and the SENTRY Participants Group

Int J Infect Dis 1999; 3: 153-156.

Objective: The SENTRY antimicrobial surveillance program was established to monitor the occurrence and antimicrobial susceptibility of bacterial pathogens via an international network of sentinel hospitals. Material and Methods: Microorganisms were forwarded to the reference laboratory for testing against various antimicrobial agents using broth microdilution. Twenty European hospitals referred 286 Streptococcus pneumoniae, 309 Haemophilus influenzae, and 167 Moraxella catarrhalis isolates during the first 10 months of the study, starting in April 1997. Results: Seven percent of the S. pneumoniae isolates were highly resistant to penicillin, and 21% showed intermediate resistance. The highly resistant pneumococcal isolates came from Coimbra, Barcelona, Athens, and London, whereas the intermediate penicillin-resistant isolates were received from all participating countries. The incidence of intermediate penicillin-resistant pneumococci was lowest in Lausanne, Freiburg and Duesseldorf, London, and Utrecht and highest in southern European countries. Fifty-five percent of the penicillin-resistant S. pneumoniae were also resistant to erythromycin, and 35% to clindamycin. Sparfloxacin, trovafloxacin, levofloxacin, and vancomycin were fully active against pneumococcal isolates. Haemophilus influenzae isolates were generally highly susceptible to most of the antibiotics tested, and 92% of the M. catarrhalis isolates were resistant to penicillin. Susceptibility to cephalosporins, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and rifampicin was 100%. Conclusion: Penicillin may no longer be the first-choice drug for empirical treatment of pneumococcal infections. The newer fluoroquinolones may play a role in the empirical treatment of community-acquired pneumonia.

KEYWORDS: antibiotic, resistance, surveillance

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