Hidden Epidemic of Macrolide-resistant Pneumococci

Klugman, Keith P.; Lonks, John R.
June 2005
Emerging Infectious Diseases;Jun2005, Vol. 11 Issue 6, p802
Academic Journal
Community-acquired respiratory tract infections (RTIs) account for a substantial proportion of outpatient antimicrobial drug prescriptions worldwide. Concern over the emergence of multidrug resistance in pneumococci has largely been focused on penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae. Macrolide antimicrobial drugs have been widely used to empirically treat community-acquired RTIs because of their efficacy in treating both common and atypical respiratory pathogens, including S. pneumoniae. However, increased macrolide use has been associated with a global increase in pneumococcal resistance, which is leading to concern over the continued clinical efficacy of the macrolides to treat community-acquired RTIs. We provide an overview of macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae and assess the impact of this resistance on the empiric treatment of community-acquired RTIs.


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