Background: Most of the studies evaluating the secular trends of blood isolates come from tertiary hospitals in urban areas. We sought to study the trends of the antimicrobial resistance of blood isolates in patients from a rural population hospitalized in a tertiary hospital in a small city in Greece.
Methods: We retrospectively collected and analysed data for the first positive blood culture obtained for each admission for each patient hospitalized in General Hospital of Tripolis, Tripolis, Peloponnesus, Greece during a 5 year period (16/05/2000-15/05/2005).
Results: Sixty-seven thousand and seventy patients were hospitalized during the study period from whom 3,206 blood cultures were obtained. A higher increase of the number of obtained blood cultures than the number of admissions was noted during the study period (p < 0.001). Three hundred and seventy-three (11.6%) blood cultures were positive. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (35.9%), Escherichia coli (29%), and Staphylococcus aureus (18.2%) were the most commonly isolated pathogens. Among the Staphylococcus aureus isolates, the proportion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was 17.2% (5/29). The proportion of Escherichia coli resistant to trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, ampicillin and cefuroxime was 29.6% (32/108), 25.0% (27/108), and 8.3% (9/108) respectively. Imipenem-resistance was noted in 3.4% (1/29) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. There were only 6 (1.6%) Acinetobacter baummanii blood isolates during the study period.
Conclusion: The antimicrobial resistance of isolates from patients receiving care at the studied tertiary hospital in a small city in Greece is considerably less compared to that noted in tertiary hospitals in larger cities of the country.