Multidrug resistance in Campylobacter jejuni strains collected from Finnish patients during 1995–2000

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ObjectivesThe resistance of Campylobacter jejuni to fluoroquinolones is increasing globally. This study was performed to delineate those antimicrobial agents that are effective in vitro against ciprofloxacin-resistant C. jejuni isolates and potentially suitable for the treatment of severe disease when fluoroquinolone resistance or multidrug resistance is known or suspected.MethodsDuring 1995–2000 we collected 376 C. jejuni strains, of which 354 were of foreign origin from multiple countries and 22 were of domestic origin. The MICs of 12 antimicrobial agents against the isolates were determined.ResultsOf the 376 strains, 174 (46%) were resistant to ciprofloxacin. Among other antimicrobials, resistance was most common to tetracycline (46%) and ampicillin (17%). Of the ciprofloxacin-resistant strains, 68% and 25%, respectively, were resistant to tetracycline and ampicillin, and 3% were resistant to erythromycin, gentamicin or clindamycin. One (0.6%) ciprofloxacin-resistant isolate was resistant to co-amoxiclav and none was resistant to imipenem. Resistance to three or more antimicrobial groups was detected in 22% of the isolates. Multidrug resistance was significantly associated with ciprofloxacin resistance (33% versus 12%; P < 0.01). Eight (2%) strains were resistant to macrolides, of which 75% were also resistant to ciprofloxacin, but none was resistant to co-amoxiclav or imipenem.ConclusionsMacrolides still appear to be the first-choice alternative for suspected C. jejuni enteritis, if antimicrobial treatment is needed. The in vitro susceptibilities suggest that clinical trials to treat enteritis caused by multidrug-resistant C. jejuni with co-amoxiclav, and life-threatening infections with a carbapenem, may be valuable.

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