The trend of antimicrobial resistance of bacteria isolated from patients in 30 Korean hospitals in 1999 was analyzed with a particular attention to cefotaxime-or fluoroquinolone-resistant gram-negative bacilli, imipenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Adequacy of susceptibility testing, and any change in the frequencies of isolated species were also analyzed. The results showed that only 20% and 30% of hospitals tested the piperacillin-tazobactam and cefoxitin susceptibility of Enterobacteriaceae, respectively, only 24% of hospitals the piperacillin-tazobactam susceptibility of P. aeruginosa, and 17% of hospitals the fusidic acid susceptibility of staphylococci. Among the isolates 26.3% were glucose-nonfermenting gram-negative bacilli, and 34.7% of Enterococcus were Enterococcus faecium. Slight decline of cefotaxime-resistance rate to 20% was noted in Klebsiella pneumoniae, while fluoroquinolone-resistantce rate was 68% in Acinetobacter baumannii. The ceftazidime- and imipenem-resistance rates were 17% and 18%, respectively in P. aeruginosa. The vancomycin-resistance rate of E. faecium rose significantly to 15.1%, but the rates varied significantly depending on hospitals suggesting presence of different degree of selective pressure or nosocomial spread. In conclusion, the prevalence of imipenem-resistant P. aeruginosa and the increase of vancomycin-resistant E. faecium were the particularly worrisome phenomena observed in this study.
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