Heteroresistance: a concern of increasing clinical significance?

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2008 Feb;14(2):101-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2007.01912.x. Epub 2007 Dec 18.


Recent studies have focused on issues related to heteroresistance, including its definition, methods of detection and frequency. Most such studies have reported data concerning infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, but the clinical significance of heteroresistance is unclear. Six studies have described infections caused by S. aureus strains that were heteroresistant to vancomycin, with two suggesting an association between the emergence of heteroresistance and treatment failure or mortality, and four suggesting no such association. Further studies are required to evaluate the clinical implications of heteroresistance in an era in which rates of antimicrobial resistance are increasing alarmingly worldwide.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents