Regional trends in beta-lactam, macrolide, fluoroquinolone and telithromycin resistance among Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates 2001-2004

J Infect. 2007 Aug;55(2):111-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2007.04.006. Epub 2007 Jun 12.


Objectives: To determine global antibacterial resistance rates among community-acquired isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Methods: Between 2001 and 2004, 20,142 S. pneumoniae isolates from 151 centres in 40 countries were collected and tested for susceptibility to common antibacterials in the PROTEKT surveillance study.

Results: The prevalence of beta-lactam and macrolide resistance did not change, but there was marked geographic variability. The most common macrolide resistance mechanism was ribosomal methylation mediated by erm(B), except in Canada, Greece and the USA where drug efflux mediated by mef(A) was predominant. The erythromycin minimum inhibitory concentration for mef(A) isolates increased significantly (P<0.001; chi2 test). The global prevalence of macrolide-resistant isolates positive for both erm(B) and mef(A) was 12.0% in 2003-2004; erm(B)+mef(A) strains were particularly common in South Korea (40.8%), South Africa (46.4%) and the USA (29.6%). Telithromycin was the most active antibacterial tested. Over the studied period, > or = 99.7% of all isolates and > 99% of erythromycin-resistant isolates, irrespective of genotype, were susceptible to telithromycin.

Conclusions: These results confirm the high worldwide prevalence of resistance to commonly used antibacterial agents and multiple resistance phenotypes among clinical isolates of S. pneumoniae and suggest that high-level macrolide resistance is continuing to increase in most countries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Fluoroquinolones / pharmacology*
  • Global Health
  • Ketolides / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Penicillin Resistance*
  • Prevalence
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae* / drug effects
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae* / genetics
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae* / isolation & purification
  • beta-Lactam Resistance*


  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Ketolides
  • telithromycin