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


Weeks in Review


Weeks to Publication
Indexed in KCI, KoreaMed, Synapse, DOAJ
Open Access, Peer Reviewed
pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Antimicrobial Resistance of Clinically Important Bacteria Isolated from 12 Hospitals in Korea

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2004 December Volume 7, Issue 2, pages 171-177.

Antimicrobial Resistance of Clinically Important Bacteria Isolated from 12 Hospitals in Korea

Seong Geun Hong1, Jongwook Lee2, Dongeun Yong3, Eui-Chong Kim4, Seok Hoon Jeong5, Yeon Jun Park6, Tae Yeal Choi7, Young Uh8, Jong Hee Shin9, Wee Kyo Lee10, Ji Young Ahn11, Sung-Hee Lee12, Gun-Jo Woo13, and Kyungwon Lee3
Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Coll. of Med., Pochon CHA Univ.1; Keonyang Univ. Med. Coll.2; Yonsei Univ. Coll. of Med.3; Seoul Nat. Univ. Coll. of Med.4; Coll. of Med. Kosin Univ.5; The Catholic Univ. of Kor.6; Hanyang Univ. Coll. of Med.7; Yonsei Univ. Wonju Coll. of Med.8; Chonnam Nat. Univ. Med. School9; Ajou Univ. Coll. of Med.10; Sooncheonhyang Univ. Coll. of Med.11; Cheju Hanmaeum Hospital12; Food Microbiology Division, Center for Food Safety Evaluation, Korea Food and Drug Administration13


Background : A rapid increase in antimicrobial-resistant bacteria has become a serious problem in Korea. Moreover, the antibiotic resistance problem has worsened noticeably during the past several years. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of resistance among frequently isolated gram-positive and -negative bacteria in Korea.

Methods : Routine susceptibility data for medically important bacteria isolated during 6 months of 2003 were collected from 12 university and general hospital laboratories in Korea. 

Results : The proportion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was 66%; however, vancomycin-resistant strains were not detected. The rates of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium and penicillin-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae (PNSP) were 22% and 73%, respectively. The resistance rates to 3rd generation cephalosporins and monobactam were: Escherichia coli 8-12%, Klebsiella pneumoniae 18-22%, Citrobacter freundii 22-32%, Enterobacter cloacae 34-37%, and Serratia marcescens 12-21%, respectively. Imipenem resistance rates of Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were 23% and 25%, respectively.

Conclusions : Antimicrobial resistant strains were already prevalent among the clinically important isolates, especially, MRSA, PNSP, and extended-spectrum cephalosporin resistant gram-negative bacilli in Korea. The imipenem-resistant rates of A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa increased, respectively, from 13% and 20% in 2002 to 23% and 25% in 2003. The results of this study will provide a basis for proper treatment of bacterial infections and prevention of spread of resistant bacteria. A continuous nationwide surveillance of antimicrobial resistance is very important and should be performed. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2004;7(2):171-177)


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