World-wide antibiotic resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Lancet. 1989 Mar 11;1(8637):537-40. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(89)90076-7.


Antibiotic resistance patterns were determined for 106 strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from 21 countries. Resistance to gentamicin, tobramycin, netilmicin, amikacin, streptomycin, or erthromycin was recorded in more than 90% of strains. Resistance to the other compounds tested was as follows: tetracycline 86%, minocycline 76%, trimethoprim 69%, clindamycin 66%, neomycin 59%, chloramphenicol 39%, rifampicin 26%, fosfomycin 22%, ciprofloxacin 17%, fusidic acid 12%, bacitracin 2%, and novobiocin 1%. All the stains were sensitive to mupirocin, pristinamycin, ramoplanin, teicoplanin, and vancomycin. There were geographical patterns of resistance: MRSA from the UK and Australia were predominantly resistant to trimethoprim, whereas many strains from centres in Europe and the USA were sensitive. MRSA that were resistant to ciprofloxacin were of French and German origin. 15 strains, 12 of which came from France, Turkey, or Brazil, were resistant either to thirteen or to fourteen agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Methicillin / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Penicillin Resistance*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Methicillin