Resistance surveillance in Italy: Four-year results from the MYSTIC program

R. Fontana, G. Lo Cascio, E. Giacobone, E. Romero, P. Cipriani, R. Sessa, Luigi Franchino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The MYSTIC program is an international, multicenter surveillance study that compares the activity of meropenem, in centers that are prescribers, with that of imipenem, ceftazidime, piperacillin/tazobactam, ciprofloxacin and gentamicin. These Italian data are from 3 centers (neutropenia, cystic fibrosis and intensive care units). A total of 2,072 (238 Gram-positive and 1,834 Gram-negative) aerobic microorganisms were collected during the study. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (33.4%) was the most isolated species followed by Escherichia coli (14.4%). All except one Enterobacteriaceae strain isolated were fully susceptible to meropenem. Moreover, the activity of meropenem against Enterobacteriaceae was about eight-fold greater than that of imipenem and four- to eight-fold more active than that of ceftazidime. Meropenem was highly active against non-fermentative Gram-negative microorganisms, exceeding the activity of most of the other antimicrobial agents tested. Moreover, meropenem showed increasing activity during the 4 years of study (starting from 86.2% in 1997 to 94.0% in 2000). In conclusion, our results indicate that meropenem has excellent potency and spectrum of activity despite being prescribed for the treatment of seriously ill patients, and appears to be a reliable option for the initial empirical treatment of serious nosocomial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Meropenem
  • MYSTIC program
  • Nosocomial infections
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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