Patterns of resistance to antimicrobial agents were studied in 193 strains of coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from hospital patients. Strains isolated from patients with malignant disease were significantly more often resistant to sulphonamide, trimethoprim, gentamicin and methicillin than were strains from other sources. Susceptibility to various β-lactam antibiotics and aminoglycosides was investigated in members of the two most frequent species: and strains were not only more often resistant to methicillin than strains (respectively 81% and 17%) but they were more highly resistant (mean MICs respectively 85 and 19 mg/L). Methicillin-resistant strains were highly resistant to nine other β-lactam antibiotics, whereas methicillin-resistant strains showed both lower levels and a narrower spectrum of cross-resistance. Resistance to methicillin in members of both species was “heterogeneous”, i.e., only a minority of cells in a culture showed significant resistance. Almost all gentamicin-resistant strains were sensitive to netilmicin and amikacin; rifampicin, vancomycin and teicoplanin were also highly active .


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