Aminoglycoside resistance in clinical Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from Western Norway

APMIS. 2012 Jun;120(6):495-502. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2011.02856.x. Epub 2011 Dec 19.


Resistance to gentamicin in Escherichia coli from blood culture has shown an increase over the past decade in Norway. This study was done to investigate aminoglycoside resistance in Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae in Western Norway. The material included 49 blood culture isolates which had shown aminoglycoside resistance collected during 2000-2009. To investigate co-resistance to alternative antibiotics and dynamics involved in aminoglycoside resistance 67 isolates (mostly from urine) exhibiting resistance to both aminoglycosides and extended spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics were also included. MIC values were obtained for amikacin, gentamicin, kanamycin, netilmicin, streptomycin and tobramycin and all isolates were screened using PCR for aac(3)-II and aac(6')-Ib, encoding aminoglycoside modifying enzymes. Resistance to ≥3 aminoglycosides was found in 92% of the isolates and 60.3% showed resistance to gentamicin, netilmicin, tobramycin and kanamycin. Amikacin resistance was low. Co-resistance to ciprofloxacin was found in 88% of the isolates with gentamicin resistance. aac(3)-IIa/c was found in 79.3% and aac(6')-Ib in 37.9% of the isolates and 28.4% harboured both genes. aac(6')-Ib-cr, possibly contributing to ciprofloxacin resistance was found mostly in extended spectrum beta-lactamase producers. The aminoglycoside resistance patterns indicate co-existence of multiple resistance mechanisms. The use of ciprofloxacin and third generation cephalosporins is likely to have contributed to the increase in aminoglycoside resistance in Norway.

MeSH terms

  • Aminoglycosides / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / methods
  • Norway
  • beta-Lactamases / biosynthesis
  • beta-Lactams / pharmacology


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • beta-Lactams
  • beta-Lactamases