Trends in antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter spp. causing traveler's diarrhea

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The aim of this study was to analyze the evolution of the levels of resistance to nine antimicrobial agents in clinical isolates of Campylobacter spp. causing traveler's diarrhea during the period from 1993 to 2003. The antimicrobial resistance levels to ampicillin, amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, clindamicin, nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin were established by the method of Kirby-Bauer. Two subperiods (1993–1998 and 1999–2003) were chosen to compare the evolution of the levels of antimicrobial resistance. Mantel-Haenszel or Fisher's exact test was performed to determine statistical significance. High levels of resistance to four out of nine antimicrobial agents tested were detected: ampicillin (66.3%), nalidixic acid (52.2%), ciprofloxacin (46.7%), and tetracycline (42.4%). In addition, resistance levels of 20.6% to amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid were detected. An increase in the resistance levels between the two subperiods analyzed for those five antimicrobial agents was observed. This increase was statistically significant for ampicillin, nalidixic acid, and ciprofloxacin. Two cases of therapeutic failure during treatment with ciprofloxacin were detected. The level of resistance to the most commonly used antibacterial agents in the developing world is increasing in Campylobacter spp., the increase in the resistance to quinolones being of special concern.

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