The aim of this study was to assess the primary and combined resistances of isolates obtained from paediatric patients in 2000–2001 to seven antimicrobial agents. Resistance rates of pre-treatment isolates from 115 children were investigated by the limited agar dilution method alone and by the E-test. The cut-off concentrations for resistance were: metronidazole >8 mg/L, clarithromycin and azithromycin >1 mg/L, clindamycin >4 mg/L, amoxicillin >0.5 mg/L, tetracycline >4 mg/L and ciprofloxacin >1 mg/L. Primary resistance rates were: metronidazole 15.8%, clarithromycin 12.4%, azithromycin 14.6%, clindamycin 20.0%, amoxicillin 0%, metronidazole + clarithromycin 4.5%, ciprofloxacin 6.0%, metronidazole + clarithromycin + ciprofloxacin 1.2%, tetracycline 3.1% and metronidazole + ciprofloxacin 1.2%. There were no significant age (1–9 years 10–18 years) or gender differences. Prevalence of both macrolide-resistant and intermediately susceptible strains was 21.9% for azithromycin and 15.9% for clarithromycin. Of 18 metronidazole-resistant isolates, 77.8% exhibited a metronidazole MIC ≥32 mg/L. resistance rates to metronidazole, clarithromycin and both agents were relatively low in Bulgarian children. However, resistance was found to all drugs tested except for amoxicillin. The consumption of newer macrolides and tetracyclines could be related to the prevalence of resistance to the corresponding agents. There were no significant differences in primary resistance rates of to antimicrobial agents between children and adults except for metronidazole. Multi-drug resistance to newer macrolides, metronidazole and ciprofloxacin in association with a slightly elevated amoxicillin MIC (0.38 mg/L) was detected in one strain.


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