Emergence of high rates of antimicrobial resistance among viridans group streptococci in the United States.
Doern GV., Ferraro MJ., Brueggemann AB., Ruoff KL.
Three hundred fifty-two blood culture isolates of viridans group streptococci obtained from 43 U.S. medical centers during 1993 and 1994 were characterized. Included were 48 isolates of "Streptococcus milleri," 219 S. mitis isolates, 29 S. salivarius isolates, and 56 S. sanguis isolates. High-level penicillin resistance (MIC, > or = 4.0 micrograms/ml) was noted among 13.4% of the strains; for 42.9% of the strains, penicillin MICs were 0.25 to 2.0 micrograms/ml (i.e., intermediate resistance). In general, amoxicillin was slightly more active than penicillin. The rank order of activity for five cephalosporins versus viridans group streptococci was cefpodoxime = ceftriaxone > cefprozil = cefuroxime > cephalexin. The percentages of isolates resistant (MIC, > or = 2 micrograms/ml) to these agents were 15, 17, 18, 20, and 96, respectively. The rates of resistance to erythromycin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were 12 to 38%. Resistance to either chloramphenicol or ofloxacin was uncommon (i.e., < 1%). In general, among the four species, S. mitis was the most resistant and "S. milleri" was the most susceptible.