Antimicrobial therapy is considered an important component in the medical management of most patients with acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (AECB). The three predominant bacterial species isolated are nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Staphylococcus aureus is also frequently isolated while atypical bacteria are thought to cause up to 10% of exacerbations. Antibacterial resistance is increasing worldwide and little surveillance data exist concerning pathogens isolated from patients with AECB.
This study examines the prevalence of antibacterial resistance in isolates obtained from patients with clinically diagnosed AECB. A total of 3043 isolates were obtained from 85 centres in 29 countries, between 1999–2003, and were tested against the new ketolide telithromycin and a panel of commonly used antibiotics.
Results and Discussion
Of the S. pneumoniae isolates, 99.9% were susceptible to telithromycin, but only 71% were susceptible to erythromycin and 75.3% to penicillin. Of the H. influenzae isolates, 99.6% were susceptible to telithromycin. 11.7% of these isolates produced β-lactamase. Almost 10% of S. pneumoniae were multidrug-resistant; 99.0% of these isolates were susceptible to telithromycin. Telithromycin also demonstrated good in vitro activity against M. catarrhalis (MIC90 = 0.12 mg/L) and was the most active compound against methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (98.9% susceptible).
Telithromycin demonstrated similar or better activity against the bacterial species investigated than the other agents, with the most complete coverage overall. These species are the predominant causative bacterial pathogens in AECB and thus the spectrum of activity of telithromycin makes it a potential alternative for the empirical treatment of AECB.