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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


ROSSI, Alicia  and  RED NACIONAL DE LABORATORIOS QUE PARTICIPAN EN EL PROGRAMA WHONET et al. Monitoring antimicrobial resistance in Argentina: the WHONET program, 1995-1996. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.6, n.4, pp.234-242. ISSN 1680-5348.

The World Health Organization has implemented a surveillance program for antimicrobial resistance that is known as WHONET. In Argentina the program was developed through a network of 23 public and private hospitals that participate in national and international quality-control programs. Between January 1995 and December 1996, the antimicrobial susceptibility of 16 073 consecutive clinical isolates was determined, using the recommended standards of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards of the United States of America. More than half of the Escherichia coli urinary isolates were resistant to ampicillin and more than 30% to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (SXT). When the percentage of resistant isolates from outpatients (OPs) was compared to that observed in hospitalized patients (HPs), a marked difference in antimicrobial activity was noted in the case of gentamicin (2% from OPs resistant vs. 8% from HPs resistant), norfloxacin (2% vs. 6%), and third-generation cephalosporins (7% vs. 15%). Of the Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates recovered from blood cultures, 71% and 60% showed resistance to third-generation cephalosporins and to gentamicin, respectively. The overall rate of oxacillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus was 39%. Around half of the Enterococcus spp. isolates showed high resistance to aminoglycosides, but resistance to glycopeptides was not found. In Argentina, ampicillin and SXT were not suitable for treating diarrhea. Shigella flexneri had a higher number of isolates resistant to both of those drugs (87% and 74%, respectively) than Sh. sonnei did (47% and 71%, respectively). About 40% of the Salmonella spp. isolated in pediatric hospitals were resistant to third-generation cephalosporins. When microorganisms causing bacterial meningitis were examined, Streptococcus pneumoniae showed a resistance rate of 18% to penicillin and Haemophilus influenzae a resistance rate of 19% to ampicillin. These rates are within the intermediate range reported for other countries of the Americas and for Europe.

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