Prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among clinical isolates of Haemophilus influenzae: a collaborative study

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 1986 Feb;4(2):95-107. doi: 10.1016/0732-8893(86)90143-4.


The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance was assessed among a total of 3,356 clinical isolates of Haemophilus influenzae obtained from 22 medical centers distributed throughout the United States during the period July, 1983 through June, 1984. All strains were examined for beta-lactamase production with a rapid acidometric assay and for resistance to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, cephalothin, cefamandole, cefaclor, tetracycline, and erythromycin with a standardized disk diffusion procedure. The overall rate of beta-lactamase production was 15.2%, although results of disk diffusion tests suggested that the overall rate of ampicillin resistance was 19.5%. Twenty-one percent of encapsulated type b strains produced beta-lactamase; 12.1% of non-type b strains were beta-lactamase positive. Specific rates of beta-lactamase production obtained at individual study centers varied widely with no evidence of geographic clustering. The highest rates of beta-lactamase production were observed with isolates of H. influenzae recovered from infants and young children, and from blood and cerebrospinal fluid specimens. The overall rate of chloramphenicol resistance was 0.6%. The prevalence of cephalothin, cefamandole, cefaclor, tetracycline, and erythromycin resistance was 9.9%, 2.4%, 2.8%, 6.4%, and 64.2%, respectively. beta-Lactamase positive isolates of H. influenzae had higher rates of resistance to all of the cephalosporins than did strains that lacked beta-lactamase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Ampicillin / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cefaclor / pharmacology
  • Cefamandole / pharmacology
  • Cephalothin / pharmacology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chloramphenicol / pharmacology
  • Erythromycin / pharmacology
  • Haemophilus Infections / microbiology
  • Haemophilus influenzae / drug effects*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / enzymology
  • Haemophilus influenzae / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Penicillin Resistance
  • Tetracycline / pharmacology
  • United States
  • beta-Lactamases / analysis
  • beta-Lactamases / biosynthesis*
  • beta-Lactamases / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cefamandole
  • Erythromycin
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Cefaclor
  • Ampicillin
  • beta-Lactamases
  • Tetracycline
  • Cephalothin