Susceptibility trends of haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis against orally administered antimicrobial agents: five-year report from the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2003 Sep;47(1):373-6. doi: 10.1016/s0732-8893(03)00089-0.


The assessment of orally administered antimicrobial susceptibilities of common pathogens that cause community-acquired respiratory tract infections (CARTI) has become exceedingly important due to the number of office visits for this indication. Numerous local, regional and global studies have documented the susceptibilities of Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Moraxella catarrhalis, the most common CARTI pathogens. SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program sites in North and Latin America, and Europe were requested to send a combined total of 100 isolates of these pathogens to the local monitor for reference broth microdilution testing (1997-2001). This study compared the susceptibility profiles of H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis isolates (13,370 strains) from the three geographic regions over a five year period. beta-lactamase mediated ampicillin resistance among H. influenzae was highest among North American isolates (27.9%) compared to Latin America and Europe (16.2 to 16.3%), although it was noted that during the five year study period, ampicillin resistance was steadily increasing in the latter two regions. Cefprozil (84.3% susceptible) and clarithromycin (81.1% susceptible) were also less active against North American H. influenzae isolates. Latin American isolates were much less susceptible to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (T/S; 59.3%) compared to the other regions (75.8 to 78.6%). M. catarrhalis isolates were also significantly less susceptible to T/S in Latin America (10.5% resistance). The production of beta-lactamase enzymes among the M. catarrhalis isolates exceeded >95% in all three regions during the five year period. The fluoroquinolones (FQ) remained very active against these two respiratory pathogens with rare isolates with elevated FQ MIC results. It is apparent from this investigation that many commonly prescribed empiric treatments remain viable therapeutic options for CARTI caused by these two Gram-negative respiratory tract pathogens.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Haemophilus Infections / diagnosis
  • Haemophilus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / drug effects*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Latin America
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Moraxella catarrhalis / drug effects*
  • Moraxella catarrhalis / isolation & purification
  • North America
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents