A Cross-Canada Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance in Respiratory Tract Pathogens Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in clinical isolates ofStreptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzaeandMoraxella catarrhalisfrom medical centres across Canada.METHODS: Fifty laboratories from across Canada were asked to collect up to 25 consecutive clinical isolates ofS pneumoniae,H influenzaeandM catarrhalisat some time between September 1994 and May 1995, and then again between September and December of 1996. A total of 2364S pneumoniae, 575H influenzaeand 200M catarrhalissamples were collected.H influenzaeandM catarrhalisisolates were tested for the production of beta-lactamase.S pneumoniaeisolates were characterized as penicillin susceptible, intermediately resistant or high level penicillin-resistant. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined using a microbroth dilution technique described by the National Committee of Clinical Laboratory Standards.RESULTS: Between the two collection periods, there was a significant increase in highly penicillin-resistantS pneumoniaefrom 2.1% to 4.4% (P<0.05) and an increase in intermediately penicillin-resistant strains from 6.4% to 8.9% (P<0.05). A significant increase in high level penicillin-resistantS pneumoniaewas noted among paediatric isolates. No significant difference in the susceptibilities of comparator agents was detected. A significant increase in the number of beta-lactamase producingH influenzae, 34% to 43% (P<0.05) was observed. Ninety-five per cent ofM catarrhalisisolates were beta-lactamase producers in both time periods.CONCLUSIONS: During the course of this study, the incidence of penicillin resistance inS pneumoniaedoubled. As a result of this increase, infections due to this organism in sites where poor penetration of beta-lactam antibiotics occur may become increasingly difficult to manage.


  • Groves, David
  • Davidson, Ross J
  • Canadian Bacterial Surveillance Network
  • Low, Donald E

publication date

  • 1999