Monitoring temporal trends of antimicrobial resistance can provide useful information for the empirical selection of antimicrobial agents to treat infected patients and for the control of nosocomial infections. In this study, we analyzed antimicrobial resistance of clinically relevant bacteria in 2003 at Korean hospitals and at a commercial laboratory. The following organism-antimicrobial agent resistance combinations were very prevalent: oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (68%). expanded-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (25%), and fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli (33%), Acinetobacter spp. (58%), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (40%). Moreover, gradual increases, in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (20%), cefoxitin-resistant E. coli (10%) and K. pneumoniae (23%), and imipenem-resistant P. aeruginosa (20%) and Acinetobacter spp. (13%): were also observed. The resistance rates of Acinetobacter spp. to most antimicrobial agents at hospitals and at the commercial laboratory were similar. Among the Acinetobacter spp. isolated at a tertiary-care hospital, 46.2% were multidrug-resistant to 9-12 of 13 antimicrobial agents, and 18.3% were panresistant. The exclusion of duplicate isolates at a tertiary-care hospital significantly lowered the proportion of oxacillin-resistant S. aureus, vancomycin-resistant E. faecium, and fluoroquinolone-resistant E coli.
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