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1.  Emerging resistance among bacterial pathogens in the intensive care unit – a European and North American Surveillance study (2000–2002) 
Background
Globally ICUs are encountering emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and for some pathogens there are few therapeutic options available.
Methods
Antibiotic in vitro susceptibility data of predominant ICU pathogens during 2000–2 were analyzed using data from The Surveillance Network (TSN) Databases in Europe (France, Germany and Italy), Canada, and the United States (US).
Results
Oxacillin resistance rates among Staphylococcus aureus isolates ranged from 19.7% to 59.4%. Penicillin resistance rates among Streptococcus pneumoniae varied from 2.0% in Germany to as high as 20.2% in the US; however, ceftriaxone resistance rates were comparably lower, ranging from 0% in Germany to 3.4% in Italy. Vancomycin resistance rates among Enterococcus faecalis were ≤ 4.5%; however, among Enterococcus faecium vancomycin resistance rates were more frequent ranging from 0.8% in France to 76.3% in the United States. Putative rates of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production among Enterobacteriaceae were low, <6% among Escherichia coli in the five countries studied. Ceftriaxone resistance rates were generally lower than or similar to piperacillin-tazobactam for most of the Enterobacteriaceae species examined. Fluoroquinolone resistance rates were generally higher for E. coli (6.5% – 13.9%), Proteus mirabilis (0–34.7%), and Morganella morganii (1.6–20.7%) than other Enterobacteriaceae spp (1.5–21.3%). P. aeruginosa demonstrated marked variation in β-lactam resistance rates among countries. Imipenem was the most active compound tested against Acinetobacter spp., based on resistance rates.
Conclusion
There was a wide distribution in resistance patterns among the five countries. Compared with other countries, Italy showed the highest resistance rates to all the organisms with the exception of Enterococcus spp., which were highest in the US. This data highlights the differences in resistance encountered in intensive care units in Europe and North America and the need to determine current local resistance patterns by which to guide empiric antimicrobial therapy for intensive care infections.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-3-14
PMCID: PMC509280  PMID: 15283864
Intensive-care unit; antibiotic susceptibility
2.  Prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibilities of bacteria isolated from blood cultures of hospitalized patients in the United States in 2002 
Background
Bloodstream infections are associated with significant patient morbidity and mortality. Antimicrobial susceptibility patterns should guide the choice of empiric antimicrobial regimens for patients with bacteremia.
Methods
From January to December of 2002, 82,569 bacterial blood culture isolates were reported to The Surveillance Network (TSN) Database-USA by 268 laboratories. Susceptibility to relevant antibiotic compounds was analyzed using National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards guidelines.
Results
Coagulase-negative staphylococci (42.0%), Staphylococcus aureus (16.5%), Enterococcus faecalis (8.3%), Escherichia coli (7.2%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (3.6%), and Enterococcus faecium (3.5%) were the most frequently isolated bacteria from blood cultures, collectively accounting for >80% of isolates. In vitro susceptibility to expanded-spectrum β-lactams such as ceftriaxone were high for oxacillin-susceptible coagulase-negative staphylococci (98.7%), oxacillin-susceptible S. aureus (99.8%), E. coli (97.3%), K. pneumoniae (93.3%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (97.2%). Susceptibilities to fluoroquinolones were variable for K. pneumoniae (90.3–91.4%), E. coli (86.0–86.7%), oxacillin-susceptible S. aureus (84.0–89.4%), oxacillin-susceptible coagulase-negative staphylococci (72.7–82.7%), E. faecalis (52.1%), and E. faecium (11.3%). Combinations of antimicrobials are often prescribed as empiric therapy for bacteremia. Susceptibilities of all blood culture isolates to one or both agents in combinations of ceftriaxone, ceftazdime, cefepime, piperacillin-tazobactam or ciprofloxacin plus gentamicin were consistent (range, 74.8–76.3%) but lower than similar β-lactam or ciprofloxacin combinations with vancomycin (range, 93.5–96.6%).
Conclusion
Ongoing surveillance for antimicrobial susceptibility remains essential, and will enhance efforts to identify resistance and attempt to limit its spread.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-3-7
PMCID: PMC420484  PMID: 15134581
3.  Tracking the implementation of NCCLS M100-S12 expanded-spectrum cephalosporin MIC breakpoints for nonmeningeal isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae by clinical laboratories in the United States during 2002 and 2003 
Background
The Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing, Twelfth Informational Supplement, M100-S12, published by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS) in January 2002 introduced distinct minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) interpretative breakpoints for ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, and cefepime for nonmeningeal isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Previously, a single set of interpretative breakpoints was used for both meningeal and nonmeningeal isolates.
Methods
To estimate the rate of adoption of the M100-S12 interpretive breakpoints by clinical laboratories, antimicrobial susceptibility test results for ceftriaxone and cefotaxime from nonmeningeal S. pneumoniae isolates were studied using data collected from January 2002 to June 2003 by The Surveillance Network® Database – USA (TSN®), an electronic surveillance database.
Results
Of the 262 laboratories that provided data that could be evaluated, 67.6% had adopted the M100-S12 breakpoints one and one-half years after they were published.
Conclusions
The NCCLS M100-S12 recommendation to interpret MICs to expanded-spectrum cephalosporins using two distinct sets of breakpoints for meningeal and nonmeningeal isolates of S. pneumoniae was steadily implemented by clinical microbiology laboratories in the United States following their initial publication in January 2002. The use of these new breakpoints more accurately reflects the clinical activities of expanded-spectrum cephalosporins than did the single set of interpretative breakpoints previously used for both meningeal and nonmeningeal isolates.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-3-1
PMCID: PMC324563  PMID: 14713319

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