Characteristics of antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Washington State, 1984-1991

J Infect Dis. 1994 Dec;170(6):1606-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/170.6.1606.


The resistance of Escherichia coli O157:H7 to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, ampicillin, ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, cefuroxime, cephalothin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, ticarcillin, tobramycin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was examined, and resistant strains were characterized. All 56 isolates collected between 1984 and 1987 were susceptible to all antibiotics tested; 13 (7.4%) of 176 strains isolated between 1989 and 1991 were resistant to streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. lambda-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis suggested that the 13 resistant strains belonged to nine different clones. The emerging resistance of E. coli O157:H7 to antibiotics could portend an increased prevalence of this pathogen in food animals that receive antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistance of E. coli O157:H7 could be useful as a rapid epidemiologic marker and as a way to select this pathogen from suspected vehicles of transmission, but this resistance could also complicate therapeutic trials with sulfa-containing antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Toxins / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Escherichia coli / classification
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Shiga Toxin 1
  • Shiga Toxin 2
  • Streptomycin / pharmacology
  • Sulfisoxazole / pharmacology
  • Tetracycline / pharmacology
  • Washington


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Shiga Toxin 1
  • Shiga Toxin 2
  • Sulfisoxazole
  • Tetracycline
  • Streptomycin