Susceptibility to alternative oral antimicrobial agents in relation to sequence type ST131 status and Coresistance phenotype among recent Escherichia coli isolates from U.S. veterans

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Oct;57(10):4856-60. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00650-13. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


The rising prevalence of resistance to first-line antimicrobial agents in Escherichia coli, which has paralleled the emergence of E. coli sequence type ST131, has created a need for alternative oral options for use in treating outpatients with infections such as cystitis and chronic prostatitis. Accordingly, we determined susceptibility to six alternative oral agents (azithromycin, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, fosfomycin, minocycline, and rifampin) by Etest or disk diffusion for 120 recently obtained E. coli clinical isolates from Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the United States. Isolates were randomly selected in three subgroups of 40 isolates each based on coresistance to fluoroquinolones with and without extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESCs). Results were stratified according to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) phenotype. Overall, the prevalence of susceptible (or susceptible plus intermediate) isolates varied by agent, with rifampin being lowest (0%), fosfomycin highest (98 to 99%), and others in the mid-range (37 to 88%). Substantial proportions of isolates (15 to 27%) yielded intermediate results for azithromycin, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, and minocycline. Among isolates resistant (versus susceptible) to fluoroquinolones with or without ESCs, susceptibility to the above four agents declined significantly among non-ST131 isolates but not ST131 isolates. In contrast, in the presence of resistance to TMP-SMZ, susceptibility to azithromycin, doxycycline, and minocycline was significantly reduced among both ST131 and non-ST131 isolates. These findings identify potential alternative oral agents for use with E. coli isolates resistant to fluoroquinolones, ESCs, and/or TMP-SMZ and suggest that determination of ST131 status could help guide initial antimicrobial selection, pending susceptibility results.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cephalosporins / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Fluoroquinolones / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / pharmacology
  • United States
  • Veterans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cephalosporins
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination