Escherichia coli antimicrobial susceptibility profile and cumulative antibiogram to guide empirical treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women in the province of Québec, 2010-15

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016 Dec;71(12):3562-3567. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw302. Epub 2016 Aug 3.


Objectives: Empirical treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women should be based on local susceptibility data. We aimed to generate regional and provincial cumulative antibiograms combining data from different laboratory information systems and determine the impact of basic patient characteristics on susceptibility results.

Methods: All positive urine samples for Escherichia coli obtained from women aged 18-65 years old in outpatient settings between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2015 from four hospitals in Quebec, Canada, were included. The cumulative antibiogram for ciprofloxacin, nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was calculated. A clinically significant difference in susceptibility profile was defined as factor(s) that lowered the susceptibility proportion below 80%.

Results: A total of 36 293 positive urine cultures were analysed. In the last year of the study, the proportion of susceptibility for ciprofloxacin, nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was 90.3%, 95.4% and 81.9%, respectively. The susceptibility proportion was <80% for trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole in the Montreal region (73.4%; 95% CI 71.1%-75.9%), whereas it remained >80% for the other regions. A significant decrease in susceptibility with time was identified for ciprofloxacin (92.1%-90.3%, P < 0.001) and nitrofurantoin (97.1%-95.4%, P < 0.001). Increasing age, recent hospitalization and site of collection were associated with an increase in resistance for certain antibiotics.

Conclusions: Overall, all first-line antimicrobials remain acceptable choices for empirical treatment of uncomplicated UTIs in women in Quebec. The regional variability in susceptibility data within a single province emphasizes the importance of local susceptibility data to inform the development of empirical treatment guidelines for UTIs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ciprofloxacin / pharmacology
  • Ciprofloxacin / therapeutic use
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / drug therapy
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrofurantoin / pharmacology
  • Nitrofurantoin / therapeutic use
  • Outpatients
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / pharmacology
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / therapeutic use
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology*
  • Urine / microbiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination
  • Nitrofurantoin