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Emergence of Gentamicin- and Carbenicillin-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a Hospital Environment

  • W. Gaman
  • C. Cates
  • C. F. T. Snelling
  • B. Lank
  • A. R. Ronald
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1976


Strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistant to either gentamicin or carbenicillin have been noted since their introduction into clinical use. During a 6-month period, twice-weekly cultures were obtained from all patients treated with either gentamicin or carbenicillin and from all patients with a positive culture for P. aeruginosa. Susceptibility testing to gentamicin and carbenicillin and pyocine typing were performed on all isolates. Organisms with a minimal inhibitory concentration greater than 12.5 μg of gentamicin per ml or greater than 100 μg of carbenicillin per ml were defined as resistant. P. aeruginosa was cultured from 238 patients. One patient was initially infected with a gentamicin-resistant isolate. In 11 other patients, serial cultures revealed the emergence of resistance to gentamicin. All but one of these resistant isolates occurred in patients treated with gentamicin. In eight instances the pyocine and/or serological types before and after the change in sensitivity pattern were the same. Gentamicin-resistant P. aeruginosa emerged significantly more often in patients treated with gentamicin than in those who did not receive gentamicin. Carbenicillin-resistant P. aeruginosa emerged in four of 14 patients treated with carbenicillin. Seventeen of the 238 patients were infected de novo with carbenicillin-resistant P. aeruginosa. Carbenicillin-resistant P. aeruginosa emerged significantly more often in patients treated with carbenicillin than in those who did not receive carbenicillin. No evidence was found for in-hospital spread of resistant P. aeruginosa.

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