Background: Ciprofloxacin-resistant Campylobacter jejuni isolates obtained from infected patients in Australia have not been detected in studies of isolates from specific geographic areas. The Australian government has prohibited the use of fluoroquinolone in food-producing animals. To assess the impact of this policy, we have examined the antimicrobial susceptibility of isolates from 5 Australian states.
Methods: We conducted a period-prevalence survey of the susceptibility of C. jejuni isolates to 10 antimicrobial agents. C. jejuni isolates obtained from 585 patients from 5 Australian states (Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia) were identified by means of notifiable disease databases and were systematically selected from September 2001 to August 2002.
Results: Among locally acquired infections, only 2% of isolates (range, 0%-8% in different states) were resistant to ciprofloxacin. The locally acquired isolates also exhibited resistance to sulfisoxazole (55%), ampicillin (46%), roxithromycin (38%), tetracycline (7%), nalidixic acid (6%), chloramphenicol (3%), erythromycin (3%), gentamicin (2%), and kanamycin (0.2%). Treatment with antimicrobial agents in the 4 weeks before onset was not associated with ciprofloxacin resistance.
Conclusions: The very low level of ciprofloxacin resistance in C. jejuni isolates likely reflects the success of Australia's policy of restricting use of fluoroquinolones in food-producing animals.