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A survey was conducted in 1999, first to establish the prevalence of antibiotic resistance among clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the UK and secondly to test whether the use of the standardized British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) disc testing method improved the accuracy of routine susceptibility testing for this organism. Twenty-five hospitals were each asked to collect up to 100 consecutive, clinically significant isolates of P. aeruginosa and to test their susceptibility to amikacin, gentamicin, ceftazidime, imipenem, meropenem, ciprofloxacin, piperacillin and piperacillin/tazobactam using the new BSAC disc method. A total of 2194 isolate reports were available for analysis and 10% of the isolates represented, plus those with unusual resistances, were re-tested centrally for quality control purposes. The zone distributions were essentially unimodal, indicating the absence of major populations with acquired resistance. The results indicated that resistance rates to the beta-lactam, aminoglycoside and quinolone agents tested in P. aeruginosa in the UK remain low (<12%), and were mostly unchanged since a previous survey conducted in 1993. High resistance rates were nevertheless reported for isolates from cystic fibrosis patients. The accuracy of susceptibility testing using the new BSAC disc testing method was better than in previous studies, when Stokes' method was most frequently used. Critically, the proportion of resistant isolates incorrectly reported as susceptible was reduced significantly; nevertheless, depending on the antibiotic, up to 49% of the isolates reported as intermediate or resistant were found susceptible on central re-testing.


Journal article


J Antimicrob Chemother

Publication Date





789 - 799


Anti-Bacterial Agents, Data Collection, Drug Resistance, Microbial, Gene Frequency, Humans, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Quality Control, United Kingdom