Prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae circulating in Italy: Results of the Italian Epidemiological Observatory survey (1997-1999)

A. Marchese, S. Mannelli, E. Tonoli, F. Gorlero, M. Toni, G. C. Schito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Italian Epidemiological Observatory (IEO), a surveillance program supported by the SmithKline Foundation, analyzed the susceptibility of 2,664 community-acquired respiratory Streptococcus pneumoniae derived from over 50 clinical microbiology laboratories during 1997-1999, against 21 antibiotics adopting a quantitative methodology. Throughout these years, total penicillin resistance varied from 14.3% to 10.2%. High-level resistance has remained stable, ranging from 3.8% to 4.1%, while a decrease in low-level resistance (from 10.3% to 6.1%) has been recorded. Lack of susceptibility to macrolides ranged from 29.1% in 1997 to 25.5% in 1999. Similar figures have also been observed with tetracycline and co-trimoxazole (rates of resistance around 30%). As expected, large geographical variations in resistance rates were found for all drugs. Amoxicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanate were 100% active on penicillin-intermediate isolates. Injectable third-generation cephalosporins and carbapenems were also capable of inhibiting a large proportion of these microorganisms. Rifampin was the most potent non-β-lactam compound tested. In contrast to the situation prevailing elsewhere, in Italian children (aged 0-5 years) presenting with respiratory conditions, the total rate of penicillin resistance (3%) was lower than that shown by the adult population (10.9%). However, lack of susceptibility to macrolides, tetracycline, and cotrimoxazole (35%, 41%, 44%) was more incident in pediatric than in adult patients (25%, 26%, 28% respectively). Strains recovered from blood in 1999 (67) were much more susceptible to penicillin (98.5%) than respiratory pneumococci (89.8%), whereas macrolides, tetracycline, and cotrimoxazole were consistently less active (75%, 67%, 64%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobial Drug Resistance
Volume7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology

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