Increased fluoroquinolone resistance with time in Escherichia coli from >17,000 patients at a large county hospital as a function of culture site, age, sex, and location

BMC Infect Dis. 2008 Jan 15:8:4. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-8-4.


Background: Escherichia coli infections are common and often treated with fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolone resistance is of worldwide importance and is monitored by national and international surveillance networks. In this study, we analyzed the effects of time, culture site, and patient age, sex, and location on fluoroquinolone resistance in E. coli clinical isolates.

Methods: To understand how patient factors and time influenced fluoroquinolone resistance and to determine how well data from surveillance networks predict trends at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston, TX, we used Perl to parse and MySQL to house data from antibiograms (n congruent with 21,000) for E. coli isolated between 1999 to 2004 using Chi Square, Bonferroni, and Multiple Linear Regression methods.

Results: Fluoroquinolone resistance (i) increased with time; (ii) exceeded national averages by 2- to 4-fold; (iii) was higher in males than females, largely because of urinary isolates from male outpatients; (iv) increased with patient age; (v) was 3% in pediatric patients; (vi) was higher in hospitalized patients than outpatients; (vii) was higher in sputum samples, particularly from inpatients, than all other culture sites, including blood and urine, regardless of patient location; and (viii) was lowest in genital isolates than all other culture sites. Additionally, the data suggest that, with regard to susceptibility or resistance by the Dade Behring MicroScan system, a single fluoroquinolone suffices as a "surrogate marker" for all of the fluoroquinolone tested.

Conclusion: Large surveillance programs often did not predict E. coli fluoroquinolone resistance trends at a large, urban hospital with a largely indigent, ethnically diverse patient population or its affiliated community clinics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / drug therapy*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fluoroquinolones / pharmacology*
  • Hospitals, County
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sentinel Surveillance
  • Sex Factors
  • Texas / epidemiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Fluoroquinolones