Evolving resistance patterns of Streptococcus pneumoniae: a link with long-acting macrolide consumption?

J Chemother. 1999 Feb;11 Suppl 1:35-43. doi: 10.1179/joc.1999.11.Supplement-2.35.


The Alexander Project indicates an increase in the prevalence of S. pneumoniae resistance to macrolide antibiotics. In some centers, the prevalence of S. pneumoniae macrolide resistance exceeds that of penicillin resistance. Centers with a high level of macrolide resistance tend to also have high levels of penicillin resistance. Antimicrobial use may be an important driver of resistance. The application of pharmacodynamic concepts suggests that bacterial exposure to low and prolonged concentrations of macrolides may have a role in the selection of resistance. Analysis of macrolide prescribing and resistance patterns indicates a correlation between increasing macrolide resistance and the increased use of newer, long-acting macrolides, although further study is required to investigate the causality of this correlation. In order to attempt to prevent the further spread of resistance, antibiotic choice should maximize the opportunity for bacterial eradication.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Macrolides
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / drug effects*
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Macrolides