Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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Antimicrobial Resistance of Clinically Important Bacteria Isolated from Hospitals Located in Representative Provinces of Korea

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2003 June Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 29-36.

Antimicrobial Resistance of Clinically Important Bacteria Isolated from Hospitals Located in Representative Provinces of Korea

Seong Geun Hong1, Dongeun Yong2, Kyungwon Lee2, Eui-Chong Kim3, Wee Kyo Lee4, Seok Hoon Jeong5, Won Keun Song6, Yeon Jun Park7, Mi-Na Kim8, Young Uh9, Jong Hee Shin10, Jongwook Lee11, Ji Young Ahn12, Sun Wha Lee13, Jae Seok Kim5, Hee Bong Shin1
Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Coll. of Med., Pochon CHA Univ.1, Yonsei Univ. Coll. of Med.2 Seoul Nat. Univ. Coll. of Med.3, Ajou Univ. of Med.4, Coll. of Med. Kosin Univ.5, Hanllym Univ. Coll. of Med.6 The Catholic Univ. of Kor.7, Univ. of Ulsan Med. Coll. and Asan Med. Center8, Yonsei Univ. Wonju Coll. of Med.9 Chonnam Nat. Univ. Med. School10, Keonyang Univ. Med. Coll.11 Sooncheonhyang Univ. Coll. of Med.12; Neodin Med. Res. Center13


Background: A rapid increase of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria has become a serious problem in many countries. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of resistance among frequently isolated gram-positive and -negative bacteria in Korea. 

Methods: Data of routine antimicrobial susceptibility test for medically important bacteria, isolated during 3 months of 2002, were collected from 12 university and 1 commercial laboratories in Korea. 

Results: The proportions of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were 60-88%, but vancomycin-resistant S. aureus was not detected. Among the Enterococcus faecium isolates, the resistance rate to vancomycin was 29%. The resistance rates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae: 11% and 24% to cefotaxime, respectively, and 12% and 21% to cefoxitin, respectively. The resistance rates of Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, and Serratia marcescens: 28%, 34% and 21% to cefotaxime, respectively, <1%, 8% and 14% to cefepime, respectively. The resistance rates of Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were: 65% and 37% to piperacillin, 64% and 19% to ceftazidime, 13% and 20% to imipenem, respectively. The resistant rates varied according to the hospital size. The resistance rates were generally higher among the isolates in the hospitals with more than 1,000 beds. The rates of penicillin-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae were 58-90%. Among the Haemophilus influenzae isolates, 55-68% were resistant to ampicillin. 

Conclusions: Antimicrobial resistant strains were prevalent among the medically important clinical isolates, especially, MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, extended-spectrum β-lactamase- or AmpC β-lactamase-producing E. coli and K. pneumoniae, third generation cephalosporin-resistant C. freundii, E. cloacae and S. marcescens, imipenem-resistant A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa, penicillinnonsusceptible S. pneumoniae and ampicillin-resistant H. influenzae. The antimicrobial resistance has become a serious problem in Korea. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2003;6(1):29-36)


MRSA, VRE, ESBL, AmpC  β-lactamase, Carbapenemase