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1.  Trends in antibacterial resistance among Streptococcus pneumoniae isolated in the USA: update from PROTEKT US Years 1–4 
The increasing prevalence of resistance to established antibiotics among key bacterial respiratory tract pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, is a major healthcare problem in the USA. The PROTEKT US study is a longitudinal surveillance study designed to monitor the susceptibility of key respiratory tract pathogens in the USA to a range of commonly used antimicrobials. Here, we assess the geographic and temporal trends in antibacterial resistance of S. pneumoniae isolates from patients with community-acquired respiratory tract infections collected between Year 1 (2000–2001) and Year 4 (2003–2004) of PROTEKT US.
Antibacterial minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined centrally using the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) broth microdilution method; susceptibility was defined according to CLSI interpretive criteria. Macrolide resistance genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction.
A total of 39,495 S. pneumoniae isolates were collected during 2000–2004. The percentage of isolates resistant to erythromycin, penicillin, levofloxacin, and telithromycin were 29.3%, 21.2%, 0.9%, and 0.02%, respectively, over the 4 years, with marked regional variability. The proportion of isolates exhibiting multidrug resistance (includes isolates known as penicillin-resistant S. pneumoniae and isolates resistant to ≥ 2 of the following antibiotics: penicillin; second-generation cephalosporins, e.g. cefuroxime; macrolides; tetracyclines; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) remained stable at ~30% over the study period. Overall mef(A) was the most common macrolide resistance mechanism. The proportion of mef(A) isolates decreased from 68.8% to 62.3% between Year 1 and Year 4, while the percentage of isolates carrying both erm(B) and mef(A) increased from 9.7% to 18.4%. Over 99% of the erm(B)+mef(A)-positive isolates collected over Years 1–4 exhibited multidrug resistance. Higher than previously reported levels of macrolide resistance were found for mef(A)-positive isolates.
Over the first 4 years of PROTEKT US, penicillin and erythromycin resistance among pneumococcal isolates has remained high. Although macrolide resistance rates have stabilized, the prevalence of clonal isolates, with a combined erm(B) and mef(A) genotype together with high-level macrolide and multidrug resistance, is increasing, and their spread may have serious health implications. Telithromycin and levofloxacin both showed potent in vitro activity against S. pneumoniae isolates irrespective of macrolide resistance genotype.
PMCID: PMC2262084  PMID: 18190701
2.  Prevalence and Molecular Analysis of Macrolide and Fluoroquinolone Resistance among Isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae Collected during the 2000-2001 PROTEKT US Study 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(11):4980-4987.
The PROTEKT US (Prospective Resistant Organism Tracking and Epidemiology for the Ketolide Telithromycin in the United States) surveillance program was established to determine the prevalence and mechanisms of antibacterial resistance among bacterial pathogens from patients with community-acquired respiratory tract infections. In year 1 of the PROTEKT US study, 10,103 isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae, including 3,133 erythromycin-resistant strains and 81 levofloxacin-resistant strains, were collected from 206 centers. We report on the molecular analyses of these resistant strains. The resistance genotypes among the 3,044 typed macrolide-resistant isolates overall were mef(A) (n = 2,157; 70.9%), erm(B) (n = 530; 17.4%), mef(A) erm(B) (n = 304; 10.0%), and erm(A) subclass erm(TR) (n = 5; 0.2%). Fifty (1.6%) macrolide-resistant isolates were negative for the mef and the erm resistance genes. Seventy-eight (96.3%) of the 81 levofloxacin-resistant isolates analyzed possessed multiple mutations in the gyrA, gyrB, parC, and/or parE quinolone resistance-determining regions. A total of 43 known multilocus sequence typing (MLST) profiles (or single- or double-locus variants) accounted for 75 of 81 isolates. There was no evidence of dissemination of fluoroquinolone-resistant clones within the United States; however, 12 isolates with the same MLST profile were located in one center in Massachusetts. Almost 90% of the erythromycin-resistant isolates and approximately one-third of the levofloxacin-resistant isolates were multidrug resistant.
PMCID: PMC525255  PMID: 15528684
3.  Activity of telithromycin and comparators against bacterial pathogens isolated from 1,336 patients with clinically diagnosed acute sinusitis 
Increasing antimicrobial resistance among the key pathogens responsible for community-acquired respiratory tract infections has the potential to limit the effectiveness of antibiotics available to treat these infections. Since there are regional differences in the susceptibility patterns observed and treatment is frequently empirical, the selection of antibiotic therapy may be challenging. PROTEKT, a global, longitudinal multicentre surveillance study, tracks the activity of telithromycin and comparator antibacterial agents against key respiratory tract pathogens.
In this analysis, we examine the prevalence of antibacterial resistance in 1,336 bacterial pathogens, isolated from adult and paediatric patients clinically diagnosed with acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS).
Results and discussion
In total, 58.0%, 66.1%, and 55.8% of S. pneumoniae isolates were susceptible to penicillin, cefuroxime, and clarithromycin respectively. Combined macrolide resistance and reduced susceptibility to penicillin was present in 200/640 (31.3 %) of S. pneumoniae isolates (128 isolates were resistant to penicillin [MIC >= 2 mg/L], 72 intermediate [MIC 0.12–1 mg/L]) while 99.5% and 95.5% of isolates were susceptible to telithromycin and amoxicillin-clavulanate, respectively. In total, 88.2%, 87.5%, 99.4%, 100%, and 100% of H. influenzae isolates were susceptible to ampicillin, clarithromycin, cefuroxime, telithromycin, and amoxicillin-clavulanate, respectively. In vitro, telithromycin demonstrated the highest activity against M. catarrhalis (MIC50 = 0.06 mg/L, MIC90 = 0.12 mg/L).
The high in vitro activity of against pathogens commonly isolated in ABS, together with a once daily dosing regimen and clinical efficacy with 5-day course of therapy, suggest that telithromycin may play a role in the empiric treatment of ABS.
PMCID: PMC509281  PMID: 15287988
4.  Multilocus sequence typing and ftsI sequencing: a powerful tool for surveillance of penicillin-binding protein 3-mediated beta-lactam resistance in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14:131.
Beta-lactam resistance in Haemophilus influenzae due to ftsI mutations causing altered penicillin-binding protein 3 (PBP3) is increasing worldwide. Low-level resistant isolates with the N526K substitution (group II low-rPBP3) predominate in most geographical regions, while high-level resistant isolates with the additional S385T substitution (group III high-rPBP3) are common in Japan and South Korea.
Knowledge about the molecular epidemiology of rPBP3 strains is limited. We combined multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and ftsI/PBP3 typing to study the emergence and spread of rPBP3 in nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHi) in Norway.
The prevalence of rPBP3 in a population of 795 eye, ear and respiratory isolates (99% NTHi) from 2007 was 15%. The prevalence of clinical PBP3-mediated resistance to ampicillin was 9%, compared to 2.5% three years earlier. Group II low-rPBP3 predominated (96%), with significant proportions of isolates non-susceptible to cefotaxime (6%) and meropenem (20%). Group III high-rPBP3 was identified for the first time in Northern Europe.
Four MLST sequence types (ST) with characteristic, highly diverging ftsI alleles accounted for 61% of the rPBP3 isolates. The most prevalent substitution pattern (PBP3 type A) was present in 41% of rPBP3 isolates, mainly carried by ST367 and ST14. Several unrelated STs possessed identical copies of the ftsI allele encoding PBP3 type A.
Infection sites, age groups, hospitalization rates and rPBP3 frequencies differed between STs and phylogenetic groups.
This study is the first to link ftsI alleles to STs in H. influenzae. The results indicate that horizontal gene transfer contributes to the emergence of rPBP3 by phylogeny restricted transformation.
Clonally related virulent rPBP3 strains are widely disseminated and high-level resistant isolates emerge in new geographical regions, threatening current empiric antibiotic treatment. The need of continuous monitoring of beta-lactam susceptibility and a global system for molecular surveillance of rPBP3 strains is underlined. Combining MLST and ftsI/PBP3 typing is a powerful tool for this purpose.
PMCID: PMC4039647  PMID: 24884375
Haemophilus influenzae; Beta-lactam resistance; ftsI; PBP3; BLNAR; MLST; PFGE; Horizontal gene transfer; Recombination; Surveillance
5.  In vitro Activities of Oral Cephem and Telithromycin Against Clinical Isolates of Major Respiratory Pathogens in Japan 
The in vitro antibacterial activities of oral cephem antibiotics and ketolide telithromycin against major respiratory pathogens possessing β-lactam-resistant mutations (within the pbp gene) and/or macrolide-resistant genes (erm and mef) were examined in clinical isolates collected at 66 institutes in all over the Japan between 2002 and 2003. Telithromycin showed the strongest antibacterial activity against methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strains with and without macrolide-resistant genes, such as ermA or ermC gene. All the cephem antibiotics showed potent antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pyogenes, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 0.015 mg/L or lower. Cefdinir had a much higher MIC90 against genotypic penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (gPRSP) than cefditoren and cefcapene (8 mg/L cefdinir vs. 1 mg/L cefditoren and cefcapene). The majority of gPRSP harbored either ermB or mefA, and the antibacterial activity of telithromycin against these strains was decreased however some susceptibility was still sustained. Cefditoren exerted the strongest antibacterial activity against β-lactamase-negative ampicillin-resistant Haemophilus influenzae, with an MIC90 of 0.5 mg/L. These results underline the importance of checking the susceptibility and selecting an appropriate antibiotic against target pathogens.
PMCID: PMC2693563  PMID: 17297246
cefditoren; telithromycin; Microbial Sensitivity Tests; Minimum Inhibitory Concentration; beta-Lactams
6.  Ketolides in the treatment of community-acquired respiratory tract infections: A review 
The increasing prevalence of resistance to established antibiotics among key respiratory bacterial pathogens highlights a need for new antibacterial agents for the treatment of community-acquired respiratory tract infections (RTIs). Ketolides are a new class of antibiotics specifically developed for the treatment of RTIs.
The aim of this review was to present the current status of treatment of RTIs with ketolides, focusing on telithromycin—the first ketolide to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for clinical use.
To gather evidence on the current status of ketolides, a literature search was conducted using MEDLINE (years: 1990–2005; key terms: ketolides, telithromycin, and HMR3647).
Telithromycin shows strong in vitro activity against the major respiratorypathogens, including strains resistant to other antibiotics, as well as the atypical respiratory pathogens. The pharmacokinetic properties of telithromycin are compatible with once-daily dosing. Clinical trials have demonstrated that telithromycin 800 mg QD for 5 to 10 days is effective in the treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, and mild to moderate community-acquired pneumonia. Overall, telithromycin is well tolerated by patients. Drug-drug interactions are similar to those reported for macrolides.
Evidence to date indicates that telithromycin is an effective andwell-tolerated empiric treatment for community-acquired RTIs.
PMCID: PMC3964523  PMID: 24672119
respiratory tract infections; antibiotics; ketolides; telithromycin
7.  Macrolide Resistance by Ribosomal Mutation in Clinical Isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae from the PROTEKT 1999-2000 Study 
Sixteen (1.5%) of the 1,043 clinical macrolide-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates collected and analyzed in the 1999-2000 PROTEKT (Prospective Resistant Organism Tracking and Epidemiology for the Ketolide Telithromycin) study have resistance mechanisms other than rRNA methylation or efflux. We have determined the macrolide resistance mechanisms in all 16 isolates by sequencing the L4 and L22 riboprotein genes, plus relevant segments of the four genes for 23S rRNA, and the expression of mutant rRNAs was analyzed by primer extension. Isolates from Canada (n = 4), Japan (n = 3), and Australia (n = 1) were found to have an A2059G mutation in all four 23S rRNA alleles. The Japanese isolates additionally had a G95D mutation in riboprotein L22; all of these originated from the same collection center and were clonal. Three of the Canadian isolates were also clonal; the rest were not genetically related. Four German isolates had A2059G in one, two, and three 23S rRNA alleles and A2058G in two 23S rRNA alleles, respectively. An isolate from the United States had C2611G in three 23S rRNA alleles, one isolate from Poland had A2058G in three 23S rRNA alleles, one isolate from Turkey had A2058G in four 23S rRNA alleles, and one isolate from Canada had A2059G in two 23S rRNA alleles. Erythromycin and clindamycin resistance gradually increased with the number of A2059G alleles, whereas going from one to two mutant alleles caused sharp rises in the azithromycin, roxithromycin, and rokitamycin MICs. Comparisons of mutation dosage with rRNA expression indicates that not all alleles are equally expressed. Despite their high levels of macrolide resistance, all 16 isolates remained susceptible to the ketolide telithromycin (MICs, 0.015 to 0.25 μg/ml).
PMCID: PMC155854  PMID: 12760848
8.  Dead Bugs Don’t Mutate: Susceptibility Issues in the Emergence of Bacterial Resistance 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2003;9(1):10-16.
The global emergence of antibacterial resistance among common and atypical respiratory pathogens in the last decade necessitates the strategic application of antibacterial agents. The use of bactericidal rather than bacteriostatic agents as first-line therapy is recommended because the eradication of microorganisms serves to curtail, although not avoid, the development of bacterial resistance. Bactericidal activity is achieved with specific classes of antimicrobial agents as well as by combination therapy. Newer classes of antibacterial agents, such as the fluoroquinolones and certain members of the macrolide/lincosamine/streptogramin class have increased bactericidal activity compared with traditional agents. More recently, the ketolides (novel, semisynthetic, erythromycin-A derivatives) have demonstrated potent bactericidal activity against key respiratory pathogens, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Moreover, the ketolides are associated with a low potential for inducing resistance, making them promising first-line agents for respiratory tract infections.
PMCID: PMC2873758  PMID: 12533275
Drug resistance, microbial; respiratory tract infections; pathogenicity; ketolide; therapeutic use
9.  Molecular Epidemiology of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Causing Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Adults 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82515.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is an opportunistic pathogen which causes a variety of respiratory infections. The objectives of the study were to determine its antimicrobial susceptibility, to characterize the β-lactam resistance, and to establish a genetic characterization of NTHi isolates. Ninety-five NTHi isolates were analyzed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multi locus sequence typing (MLST). Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by microdilution, and the ftsI gene (encoding penicillin-binding protein 3, PBP3) was PCR amplified and sequenced. Thirty (31.6%) isolates were non-susceptible to ampicillin (MIC≥2 mg/L), with 10 of them producing β-lactamase type TEM-1 as a resistance mechanism. After ftsI sequencing, 39 (41.1%) isolates showed amino acid substitutions in PBP3, with Asn526→ Lys being the most common (69.2%). Eighty-four patients were successfully treated with amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, ceftriaxone and levofloxacin. Eight patients died due either to aspiration or complication of their comorbidities. In conclusion, NTHi causing CAP in adults shows high genetic diversity and is associated with a high rate of reduced susceptibility to ampicillin due to alterations in PBP3. The analysis of treatment and outcomes demonstrated that NTHi strains with mutations in the ftsI gene could be successfully treated with ceftriaxone or fluoroquinolones.
PMCID: PMC3862678  PMID: 24349303
10.  Hidden Epidemic of Macrolide-resistant Pneumococci 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(6):802-807.
Community-acquired respiratory tract infections (RTIs) account for a substantial proportion of outpatient antimicrobial drug prescriptions worldwide. Concern over the emergence of multidrug resistance in pneumococci has largely been focused on penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae. Macrolide antimicrobial drugs have been widely used to empirically treat community-acquired RTIs because of their efficacy in treating both common and atypical respiratory pathogens, including S. pneumoniae. However, increased macrolide use has been associated with a global increase in pneumococcal resistance, which is leading to concern over the continued clinical efficacy of the macrolides to treat community-acquired RTIs. We provide an overview of macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae and assess the impact of this resistance on the empiric treatment of community-acquired RTIs.
PMCID: PMC3367596  PMID: 15963272
Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Macrolides; Community-acquired infections; Treatment failure
11.  Molecular diversity in mechanisms of carbapenem resistance in paediatric Enterobacteriaceae 
Development of carbapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae has impacted Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines, infection control approaches and treatment strategies. The clinical, phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections at paediatric referral centres are not well described. CRE were identified through the clinical microbiology laboratory at Seattle Children’s Hospital (Seattle, WA). Clinical data were retrieved from medical records. Resistance testing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for resistance determinants, and Escherichia coli transformation were carried out for each isolate. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were used to characterise strain relatedness. PCR amplification and sequencing as well as sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) were used to investigate porin alterations. Six CRE isolates were identified between 2002 and 2010. Significant molecular diversity was documented in their mechanisms of resistance, including plasmid-mediated serine carbapenemase (KPC) and metallo-β-lactamase (IMP), chromosomally-encoded β-lactamase (SME) and porin alterations with extended-spectrum β-lactamases. Patients had underlying health conditions and were from geographically diverse regions. In one case, PFGE of serial isolates documented the development of resistance in a previously susceptible strain. Molecular investigation of this strain identified insertion of the genetic mobile element insertion sequence ISEcp1 in the ompK36 gene, conferring a functional porin alteration as demonstrated by SDS-PAGE. This is the first description of porin disruption by ISEcp1 in a CTX-M-15-positive isolate. This is the largest report of paediatric CRE to date. This diverse description of demographic, phenotypic and molecular characteristics highlights the challenge of CRE infections in high-risk paediatric patients and that attention to emerging resistance mechanisms (including membrane alteration) at paediatric referral centres is essential.
PMCID: PMC3237943  PMID: 22055532
Carbapenem resistance; Enterobacteriaceae; Porin; ISEcp1
12.  Microbiological characterization of Streptococcus pneumoniae and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae isolates as primary causes of acute otitis media in Bulgarian children before the introduction of conjugate vaccines 
Pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines were introduced in our national immunisation program in April 2010. The aims of this retrospective, laboratory-based study were to determine the serotypes and antibiotic resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae and H. influenzae isolates from middle ear fluid (MEF) collected before the introduction of immunization.
S. pneumoniae (n = 128) and H. influenzae (n = 40) strains isolated from MEF of children with AOM between 1994 and 2011 were studied. MICs were determined by a microdilution assay. Serotyping of S. pneumoniae was done by Quellung method and PCR capsular typing was used for H. influenzae. Macrolide resistance genes were detected by PCR for erythromycin resistant S. pneumoniae (ERSP). DNA sequencing of ftsI gene was performed for ampicillin nonsusceptible H. influenzae.
The most common serotypes found among children with pneumococcal AOM were 19 F (20.3%), 6B (15.6%), and 19A (10.9%). The potential coverage rates by the PCV7, PCV10 and PCV13 of children aged < 5 years were 63.6%, 66.4% and 85.5%, respectively. Reduced susceptibility to oral penicillin was seen in 68.1%; resistance to erythromycin was 46.9%. We found erm(B) gene in 56.7% of the ERSP, mef(E) gene in 25%; 15% harbored both genes erm(B) + mef(E) and 3.3% had mutations of L4 ribosomal protein. Of the 40 H. influenzae isolates 97.5% were nontypeable. Nonsusceptibility to ampicillin occurred in 25%. Ampicillin resistance groups were: β-lactamase-positive ampicillin resistant (BLPAR) strains (10%), β-lactamase-negative ampicillin resistant (BLNAR) strains (12.5%) and β-lactamase-positive amoxicillin-clavulanate resistant (BLPACR) strains (2.5%). Among BLNAR and BLPACR most of the isolates (5/6) belonged to group II, defined by the Asn526Lys substitution.
The levels of antibiotic resistance among S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae causing severe AOM in children are high in our settings. The existence of multidrug-resistant S. pneumoniae serotype 19A is of particular concern. The rate of BLNAR and BLPACR strains among H. influenzae isolates was 15%.
PMCID: PMC3622619  PMID: 23531034
AOM; S. pneumoniae; H. influenzae; Serotypes; Antibiotic resistance
13.  Emergence and Spread of Streptococcus pneumoniae with erm(B) and mef(A) Resistance 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(6):851-858.
Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates (N = 31,001) were collected from patients with community-acquired respiratory tract infections during the PROTEKT US surveillance study (2000–2003). While the macrolide (erythromycin) resistance rate remained stable at ≈29%, the prevalence of resistant isolates containing both erm(B) and mef(A) increased from 9.7% in year 1 to 16.4% in year 3, with substantial regional variability. Almost all (99.2%) dual erm(B)+mef(A) macrolide-resistant isolates exhibited multidrug resistance, whereas 98.6% and 99.0% were levofloxacin- and telithromycin-susceptible, respectively. These strains were most commonly isolated from the ear or middle-ear fluid of children. Of 152 representative erm(B)+mef(A) isolates, >90% were clonally related to the multidrug-resistant international Taiwan19F-14 clonal complex 271 (CC271). Of 366 erm(B)+mef(A) isolates from the PROTEKT global study (1999–2003), 83.3% were CC271, with the highest prevalence seen in South Africa, South Korea, and the United States. This study confirms the increasing global emergence and rapidly increasing US prevalence of this multidrug-resistant pneumococcal clone.
PMCID: PMC3367592  PMID: 15963279
Keywords: human papillomavirus; Cervix neoplasms; Cost-benefit analysis; vaccines; public health
14.  Genotypes and serotype distribution of macrolide resistant invasive and non- invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from Lebanon 
This study determined macrolide resistance genotypes in clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae from multiple medical centers in Lebanon and assessed the serotype distribution in relation to these mechanism(s) of resistance and the source of isolate recovery.
Forty four macrolide resistant and 21 macrolide susceptible S. pneumoniae clinical isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility according to CLSI guidelines (2008) and underwent molecular characterization. Serotyping of these isolates was performed by Multiplex PCR-based serotype deduction using CDC protocols. PCR amplification of macrolide resistant erm (encoding methylase) and mef (encoding macrolide efflux pump protein) genes was carried out.
Among 44 isolates resistant to erythromycin, 35 were resistant to penicillin and 18 to ceftriaxone. Examination of 44 macrolide resistant isolates by PCR showed that 16 isolates harbored the erm(B) gene, 8 isolates harbored the mef gene, and 14 isolates harbored both the erm(B) and mef genes. There was no amplification by PCR of the erm(B) or mef genes in 6 isolates. Seven different capsular serotypes 2, 9V/9A,12F, 14,19A, 19F, and 23, were detected by multiplex PCR serotype deduction in 35 of 44 macrolide resistant isolates, with 19F being the most prevalent serotype. With the exception of serotype 2, all serotypes were invasive. Isolates belonging to the invasive serotypes 14 and 19F harbored both erm(B) and mef genes. Nine of the 44 macrolide resistant isolates were non-serotypable by our protocols.
Macrolide resistance in S. pneumoniae in Lebanon is mainly through target site modification but is also mediated through efflux pumps, with serotype 19F having dual resistance and being the most prevalent and invasive.
PMCID: PMC3371826  PMID: 22248318
Antimicrobials; Macrolides; Resistance; Genes; Serotyping
15.  Integrated analysis of three bacterial conjunctivitis trials of besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension, 0.6%: etiology of bacterial conjunctivitis and antibacterial susceptibility profile 
The purpose of this paper is to report on the bacterial species isolated from patients with bacterial conjunctivitis participating in three clinical trials of besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension, 0.6%, and their in vitro antibacterial susceptibility profiles.
Microbial data from three clinical studies, conducted at multiple clinical sites in the US and Asia were integrated. Species were identified at a central laboratory, and minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined for various antibiotics, including β-lactams, fluoroquinolones, and macrolides.
A total of 1324 bacterial pathogens representing more than 70 species were isolated. The most common species were Haemophilus influenzae (26.0%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (22.8%), Staphylococcus aureus (14.4%), and Staphylococcus epidermidis (8.4%). H. influenzae was most frequently isolated among patients aged 1–18 years, while S. aureus was most prevalent among those >65 years. Drug resistance was prevalent: Of H. influenzae isolates, 25.3% were β-lactamase positive and 27.2% of S. pneumoniae isolates were penicillin-intermediate/ resistant; of S. aureus isolates, 13.7% were methicillin-resistant (MRSA), and of these, 65.4% were ciprofloxacin-resistant, while 45.9% of S. epidermidis isolates were methicillin-resistant (MRSE), and, of these, 47.1% were ciprofloxacin-resistant. Besifloxacin was more potent than comparator fluoroquinolones overall, and particularly against Gram-positive bacteria. Against ciprofloxacin-resistant MRSA and MRSE, besifloxacin was four-fold to ≥ 128-fold more potent than other fluoroquinolones.
While the pathogen distribution in bacterial conjunctivitis has not changed, drug resistance is increasing. Patient age and local antibiotic resistance trends should be considered in the treatment of this ocular infection. Besifloxacin showed broad-spectrum in vitro activity and was particularly potent against multidrug-resistant staphylococcal isolates.
PMCID: PMC3198410  PMID: 22034556
besifloxacin; fluoroquinolones; in vitro activity; ocular isolates; bacterial conjunctivitis
16.  Polymorphism in ftsI gene and β-lactam susceptibility in Portuguese Haemophilus influenzae strains: clonal dissemination of β-lactamase-positive isolates with decreased susceptibility to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid 
The aim of this study was to characterize ampicillin resistance mechanisms in clinical isolates of Haemophilus influenzae from Portugal. Association between specific patterns of amino acid substitutions in penicillin-binding protein 3 (PBP3) (with or without β-lactamase production) and β-lactam susceptibility as well as genetic relatedness among isolates were investigated.
Two-hundred and forty non-consecutive H. influenzae isolates chosen according to their different ampicillin MICs [101 β-lactamase-non-producing ampicillin-resistant (BLNAR) isolates, 80 β-lactamase-producing ampicillin-resistant (BLPAR) isolates and 59 β-lactamase-non-producing ampicillin-susceptible (BLNAS) isolates] were analysed. The β-lactamase-encoding blaTEM-1 gene was detected by PCR. The ftsI gene encoding PBP3 was sequenced. Genetic relatedness among isolates was examined by PFGE.
Of the 240 H. influenzae isolates, 141 had mutations in the transpeptidase domain of the ftsI gene, including most BLNAR strains (94/101, 93.1%) and a high percentage of BLPAR strains (47/80, 58.8%). As previously reported, the latter have been described as β-lactamase-positive amoxicillin/clavulanic acid resistant (BLPACR). The most common amino acid substitutions were identified near the KTG motif: N526K (136/141, 96.5%), V547I (124/141, 87.9%) and N569S (121/141, 85.8%). The 141 strains were divided into 31 ftsI mutation patterns and included six groups (I, IIa, IIb, IIc, IId and III-like). BLNAR strains were genetically diverse but close genetic relationships were demonstrated among BLPACR strains.
This study shows that the non-enzymatic mechanism of resistance to β-lactams is widespread among H. influenzae isolates in Portugal. Clonal dissemination of BLPACR strains showing high resistance to ampicillin and reduced susceptibility to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid was documented.
PMCID: PMC3058566  PMID: 21393206
penicillin-binding proteins; ampicillin resistance; genetic relatedness; β-lactamases
17.  Molecular Epidemiology of Multiresistant Streptococcus pneumoniae with Both erm(B)- and mef(A)-Mediated Macrolide Resistance 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(2):764-768.
Of a total of 1,043 macrolide-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates collected from 24 countries as part of PROTEKT 1999-2000, 71 isolates tested positive for both the mef(A) and erm(B) genes. Of 69 isolates subjected to further molecular investigations, all were resistant to tetracycline, 63 (91.3%) were resistant to penicillin, and 57 (82.6%) were resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. One isolate was also fluoroquinolone resistant, and another was resistant to quinupristin-dalfopristin. The ketolide telithromycin retained activity against all of the isolates. Of the 69 of these 71 isolates viable for further testing, 46 were from South Korea, 13 were from the United States, 8 came from Japan, and 1 each came from Mexico and Hungary. One major clonal complex (59 [85.5%] of 69 isolates) was identified by serotyping (with 85.5% of the isolates being 19A or 19F), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and multilocus sequence typing. The remaining isolates were less clonal in nature. Representative isolates were shown to carry the mobile genetic elements Tn1545 and mega, were negative for Tn1207.1, had tetracycline resistance mediated by tet(M), and contained the mef(E) variant of mef(A). All isolates were positive for mel, a homologue of the msr(A) efflux gene. These clones are obviously very efficient at global dissemination, and hence it will be very important to monitor their progress through continued surveillance. Telithromycin demonstrated high levels of activity (MIC for 90% of the strains tested, 0.5 μg/ml; MIC range, 0.06 to 1 μg/ml) against all isolates.
PMCID: PMC344484  PMID: 14766850
18.  Antibacterial activity of RU 64004 (HMR 3004), a novel ketolide derivative active against respiratory pathogens. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1997;41(10):2149-2158.
The antibacterial activity of RU 64004, a new ketolide, was evaluated against more than 600 bacterial strains and was compared with those of various macrolides and pristinamycin. RU 64004 had good activity against multiresistant pneumococci, whether they were erythromycin A resistant or not, including penicillin-resistant strains. RU 64004 inhibited 90% of pneumococci resistant to erythromycin A and penicillin G at 0.6 and 0.15 microg/ml, respectively. Unlike macrolides, RU 64004 did not induce the phenotype of resistance to macrolides-lincosamides-streptogramin B. Its good antibacterial activity against multiresistant pneumococci ran in parallel with its well-balanced activity against all bacteria involved in respiratory infections (e.g., Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pyogenes). In contrast to all comparators (14- and 16-membered-ring macrolides and pristinamycin), RU 64004 displayed high therapeutic activity in animals infected with all major strains, irrespective of the phenotypes of the strains. The results suggest that RU 64004 has potential for use in the treatment of infections caused by respiratory pathogens including multiresistant pneumococci.
PMCID: PMC164085  PMID: 9333040
19.  Susceptibilities to Levofloxacin in Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis Clinical Isolates from Children: Results from 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 TRUST Studies in the United States 
Among respiratory tract isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae from children, resistance to penicillins, cephalosporins, macrolides, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT) increases on an annual basis. Pediatric patients who do not respond to conventional therapy for respiratory tract infections someday may be treated with fluoroquinolones. In this study, MICs of β-lactams, azithromycin, SXT, and levofloxacin were determined and interpreted by using NCCLS guidelines for isolates of S. pneumoniae (2,834 from children and 10,966 from adults), Haemophilus influenzae (629 from children and 2,281 from adults), and Moraxella catarrhalis (389 from children and 1,357 from adults) collected during the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 respiratory illness seasons in the United States as part of the ongoing TRUST surveillance studies. Rates of resistance to penicillin, azithromycin, and SXT were ≥7.5% higher among patients ≤4 years old than among patients 5 to 10, 11 to 17, and ≥18 years old in both the 2000-2001 and the 2001-2002 respiratory illness seasons. Levofloxacin resistance was detected in 2 of 2,834 isolates (0.07%) from patients <18 years old. Levofloxacin MICs of 0.25 to 1 μg/ml accounted for 99.6, 99.5, 99.3, 99.7, 98.4, and 98.0% of isolates from patients <2, 2 to 4, 5 to 10, 11 to 17, 18 to 64, and >64 years old. Multidrug resistance was twice as common among patients ≤4 years old (25.3%) as among patients 5 to 10 years old (13.7%), 11 to 17 years old (11.9%), 18 to 64 years old (12.1%), and >64 years old (12.4%). The most common multidrug resistance phenotype in S. pneumoniae isolates for all age groups was resistance to penicillin, azithromycin, and SXT (70.3 to 76.6%). For H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis isolates from patients <2, 2 to 4, 5 to 10, 11 to 17, 18 to 64, and >64 years old, levofloxacin MICs at which 90% of the isolates were inhibited were 0.015 and 0.03 to 0.06 μg/ml, respectively, in the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 respiratory illness seasons. In the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 respiratory illness season surveillance studies in the United States, 99.9% of pediatric isolates of S. pneumoniae were susceptible to levofloxacin. If fluoroquinolones become a treatment option for pediatric patients, careful monitoring of fluoroquinolone susceptibilities will be increasingly important in future surveillance studies.
PMCID: PMC155851  PMID: 12760850
20.  In Vitro and In Vivo Activities of LB 10827, a New Oral Cephalosporin, against Respiratory Pathogens 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2000;44(12):3272-3277.
The in vitro antibacterial activities of LB 10827, a new oral cephalosporin, against common respiratory tract pathogens were compared with those of six β-lactams (cefdinir, cefuroxime, cefprozil, penicillin G, amoxicillin-clavulanate, and ampicillin), two quinolones (trovafloxacin and ciprofloxacin), and one macrolide (clarithromycin). The MIC of LB 10827 at which 90% of the penicillin-resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae tested were inhibited was 0.5 μg/ml, and the drug was 4- to 32-fold more active than the compared β-lactams. The potent activity of LB 10827 against Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis was retained, and the presence of β-lactamase in both strains had little effect on the in vitro activity of the compound. Time-kill studies revealed that LB 10827 had bactericidal activity against these respiratory pathogens. This agent reduced original counts of all pathogens tested by ≥3 log10 CFU/ml at the MIC, and the regrowth was completely prevented for 12 h. The potent in vitro antibacterial activity of LB 10827 against respiratory pathogens has been proved in both mouse pneumonia and neutropenic rat models. These results strongly suggest that this agent has potential for the treatment of respiratory tract infections.
PMCID: PMC90191  PMID: 11083626
21.  Pharmacodynamic evaluation of commonly prescribed oral antibiotics against respiratory bacterial pathogens 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:286.
Upper and lower respiratory tract infections (RTIs) account for a substantial portion of outpatient antibiotic utilization. However, the pharmacodynamic activity of commonly used oral antibiotic regimens has not been studied against clinically relevant pathogens. The objective of this study was to assess the probability of achieving the requisite pharmacodynamic exposure for oral antibacterial regimens commonly prescribed for RTIs in adults against bacterial isolates frequently involved in these processes (S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, and M. catharralis).
Using a 5000-subject Monte Carlo simulation, the cumulative fractions of response (CFR), (i.e., probabilities of achieving requisite pharmacodynamic targets) for the most commonly prescribed oral antibiotic regimens, as determined by a structured survey of medical prescription patterns, were assessed against local respiratory bacterial isolates from adults in São Paulo collected during the same time period. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 230 isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae (103), Haemophilus influenzae (98), and Moraxella catharralis (29) from a previous local surveillance were used.
The most commonly prescribed antibiotic regimens were azithromycin 500 mg QD, amoxicillin 500 mg TID, and levofloxacin 500 mg QD, accounting for 58% of the prescriptions. Varied doses of these agents, plus gatifloxacin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, moxifloxacin, and cefaclor made up the remaining regimens. Utilizing aggressive pharmacodynamic exposure targets, the only regimens to achieve greater than 90% CFR against all three pathogens were amoxicillin/amoxicillin-clavulanate 500 mg TID (> 91%), gatifloxacin 400 mg QD (100%), and moxifloxacin 400 mg QD (100%). Considering S. pneumoniae isolates alone, azithromycin 1000 mg QD also achieved greater than 90% CFR (91.3%).
The only regimens to achieve high CFR against all three pathogen populations in both scenarios were gatifloxacin 400 mg QD, moxifloxacin 400 mg QD, and amoxicillin-clavulanate 500 mg TID. These data suggest the need for reconsideration of empiric antibiotic regimen selection among adult patients with RTIs in the São Paulo area. Additionally, this type of study could be used to optimize prescribing patterns in specific regions in light of emerging resistance.
PMCID: PMC3213675  PMID: 22026724
22.  Epidemiology of community-acquired Mycoplasma Pneumoniae respiratory tract infections among hospitalized Chinese children, including relationships with meteorological factors 
Hippokratia  2013;17(1):20-26.
Background: Mycoplasma Pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) is a common cause of respiratory tract infections (RTIs), especially in children. Combined diagnostic techniques have provided more reliable information about the epidemiology of infections by this pathogen. The relationship between M. pneumoniae RTIs and climatic conditions is not well documented in the literature.
Aims: To study the epidemiology of M. pneumoniae infections in hospitalized children with RTIs and its association with meteorological factors.
Methods: Samples were obtained from children with RTIs and tested for M. pneumoniae by PCR and ELISA. Meanwhile, meteorological factors were recorded.
Results: M. pneumoniae was identified in 11.02% of the 8,157 specimens. There were significant differences among the annual distribution of infections (χ2 =130.13, P<0.0001) and among different seasons (χ2 =93.59, P<0.0001). Of the total number of patients with M. pneumoniae infections, 14.5% were infected with more than one pathogen. M. pneumoniae infection strongly correlated with mean temperature. Children with a single M. pneumoniae infection had significantly higher neutrophil percentages and CRP levels than children with co-infections.
Conclusions: M. pneumoniae is one of the most commonly held pathogens, according to the 5-year surveillance. M. pneumoniae infection has its own epidemic season, especially in the summer. Mean temperature is the main meteorological factor affecting the epidemiology of M. pneumoniae infections.
PMCID: PMC3738272  PMID: 23935339
Mycoplasma pneumoniae; Respiratory tract infections; Meteorological factors; Children; Epidemiology
23.  Mycoplasma pneumoniae respiratory tract infections among Greek children 
Hippokratia  2011;15(2):147-152.
Background: M. pneumoniae is a common cause of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) of variable severity especially in children. New diagnostic techniques offered more reliable information about the epidemiology of infection by this pathogen.
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and epidemiology of acute M. pneumoniae infections among Greek children hospitalized for RTIs using more advanced techniques.
Material and Methods: The study included 225 Greek children hospitalized for RTIs during a 15-month period. Throat swab specimens were tested by PCR for the detection of M. pneumoniae, while IgG and IgM antibodies were determined by ELISA and, in certain cases, also by western-blot. In parallel, specimens were tested for the presence of additional respiratory pathogens.
Results: M. pneumoniae infection was diagnosed as the only pathogen in 25 (11.1%) cases, being the second (after respiratory syncytial virus- RSV) most often detected pathogen. The proportion of cases with M. pneumoniae infection in age group 8-14 years (23.3%) was significantly higher than that in <3 years age group.
Conclusion: During our study period, M. pneumoniae was the second causative agent of RTIs after RSV. The proportion of children with M. pneumoniae RTIs increased with age, while most cases were reported during summer and autumn.
PMCID: PMC3209678  PMID: 22110297
M. pneumoniae; respiratory tract infection; children; Greece
24.  Bactericidal activity of besifloxacin against staphylococci, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae 
Besifloxacin is a novel fluoroquinolone that was recently approved for topical treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. The compound was shown to be active in vitro against a broad spectrum of bacteria, including isolates resistant to other antibacterials. Here, the bactericidal activity of besifloxacin was evaluated against the most common bacterial conjunctivitis pathogens.
MIC, MBC and time–kill experiments with besifloxacin and comparators were performed according to CLSI guidelines. Quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) were sequenced using standard PCR-based techniques.
MIC and MBC data indicated that besifloxacin was the most potent fluoroquinolone tested against Staphylococcus aureus (n = 30), Staphylococcus epidermidis (n = 15) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 35), while all fluoroquinolones were highly active against Haemophilus influenzae (n = 40). Besifloxacin MBC:MIC ratios were ≤4 for 97.5% of all isolates tested (n = 120). All fluoroquinolones tested, as well as tobramycin, were bactericidal, while azithromycin was bactericidal against S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae, but bacteriostatic against the staphylococci. Time–kill assays with all four species showed that besifloxacin caused ≥1000-fold killing within 2 h for 11 of 12 isolates. Only one isolate treated with moxifloxacin and three ciprofloxacin-treated isolates achieved the same level of bactericidal activity under the same conditions. Unlike the comparator fluoroquinolones, besifloxacin maintained a high potency and bactericidal activity even against strains that contained multiple mutations in the genes encoding DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV.
Overall, besifloxacin demonstrated rapid bactericidal activity against the four major human pathogens tested here, including isolates that showed in vitro resistance to other fluoroquinolones, β-lactams, macrolides or aminoglycosides.
PMCID: PMC2882870  PMID: 20435780
fluoroquinolones; time–kill; bactericidal activity
25.  Molecular characteristics of erythromycin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae from pediatric patients younger than five years in Beijing, 2010 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:228.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the main pathogen that causes respiratory infections in children younger than five years. The increasing incidence of macrolide- and tetracycline-resistant pneumococci among children has been a serious problem in China for many years. The molecular characteristics of erythromycin-resistant pneumococcal isolates that were collected from pediatric patients younger than five years in Beijing in 2010 were analyzed in this study.
A total of 140 pneumococcal isolates were collected. The resistance rates of all isolates to erythromycin and tetracycline were 96.4% and 79.3%, respectively. Of the 135 erythromycin-resistant pneumococci, 91.1% were non-susceptible to tetracycline. In addition, 30.4% of the erythromycin-resistant isolates expressed both the ermB and mef genes, whereas 69.6% expressed the ermB gene but not the mef gene. Up to 98.5% of the resistant isolates exhibited the cMLSB phenotype, and Tn6002 was the most common transposon present in approximately 56.3% of the resistant isolates, followed by Tn2010, with a proportion of 28.9%. The dominant sequence types (STs) in all erythromycin-resistant S. pneumoniae were ST271 (11.9%), ST81 (8.9%), ST876 (8.9%), and ST320 (6.7%), whereas the prevailing serotypes were 19F (19.3%), 23F (9.6%), 14 (9.6%), 15 (8.9%), and 6A (7.4%). The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) coverage of the erythromycin-resistant pneumococci among the children younger than five years were 45.2% and 62.2%, respectively. ST320 and serotype 19A pneumococci were common in children aged 0 to 2 years. CC271 was the most frequent clonal complex (CC), which accounts for 24.4% of all erythromycin-resistant isolates.
The non-invasive S. pneumoniae in children younger than five years in Beijing presented high and significant resistance rates to erythromycin and tetracycline. The expressions of ermB and tetM genes were the main factors that influence pneumococcal resistance to erythromycin and tetracycline, respectively. Majority of the erythromycin-resistant non-invasive isolates exhibited the cMLSB phenotype and carried the ermB, tetM, xis, and int genes, suggesting the spread of the transposons of the Tn916 family. PCV13 provided higher serotype coverage in the childhood pneumococcal diseases caused by the erythromycin-resistant isolates better than PCV7. Further long-term surveys are required to monitor the molecular characteristics of the erythromycin-resistant S. pneumoniae in children.
PMCID: PMC3534231  PMID: 23043378

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