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 12 Hospitals in Korea in 2005 and 2006

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2007 April Volume 10, Issue 1, pages 59-69.

Antimicrobial Resistance of Clinically Important Bacteria Isolated from 12 Hospitals in Korea in 2005 and 2006

Hyukmin Lee1, Chang Ki Kim2, Jongwook Lee3, Sung-Hee Lee4, Ji Young Ahn5, Seong Geun Hong6, Yeon Jun Park7, Seok Hoon Jeong8, Eui-Chong Kim9, Wee Kyo Lee10, Young Uh11, Jong Hee Shin12, Tae Yeal Choi13, Hyo-Sun Kwak14, Kyungwon Lee2
Department of Laboratory Medicine, 1Kwandong University College of Medicine, Goyang; 2Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul; 3Keonyang University Medical College, Daejeon; 4Cheju Hanmaeum Hospital, Jeju; 5Sooncheonhyang University College of Medicine, Gumi; 6Pochon CHA University College of Medicine, Seongnam; 7 The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul; 8Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan; 9Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul; 10Ajou University College of Medicine, Suwon; 11Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju; 12Chonnam National Univeristy Medical School, Gwangju; 13Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul; 14Food Microbiology Division, Center for Food Safety Evaluation, Korea Food and Drug Administration, Seoul, Korea


Background: Emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria make it difficult to treat infections. A rapid increase in antimicrobial-resistant bacteria has become a serious problem in many countries including Korea, and it is important to perform a nationwide study of antimicrobial resistance to obtain some basic data that will help solve these problems. The aim of this study was to determine the nationwide prevalence of resistance among frequently isolated bacterial pathogens in 2005 and 2006 in Korea.

Methods: We collected routine susceptibility data for medically important bacterial pathogens from 12 university and general hospital laboratories in Korea from April to September in 2005 and from January to June in 2006. Collected data was analyzed by patient group.

Results: The proportions of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were 65% in 2005 and 72% in 2006, respectively. The resistance rates of Enterococcus faecium to vancomycin were 29% in 2005 and 24% in 2006. The non-susceptible rates of Streptococcus pneumoniae to penicillin were 68% in 2005 and 74% in 2006. The resistant rates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae to the 3rd generation cephalosporin were 10∼12% and 25∼ 39%, respectively, in 2005 and 11∼15% and 30∼ 34% in 2006. In Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae and Serratia marcescens, the resistance rates to 3rd generation cephalosporin were 23∼31%, 32∼ 34%, and 17∼27%, respectively, in 2005 and 21∼ 37%, 37∼43%, and 13∼31% in 2006. The resistance rates to imipenem and meropenem were 21% and 18%, respectively, in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 18% and 25% in Acinetobacter baumannii in 2005; 29% and 20% in P. aeruginosa and 18% and 23% in A. baumannii in 2006. Cotrimoxazole and levofloxacin resistance rates of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia were 5% and 13%, respectively, in 2005 and 3% and 7% in 2006. There were no isolates resistant to 3rd generation cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone among non-typhoidal Salmonella in 2005.

Conclusion: Antimicrobial resistance of medically important bacteria is still a serious problem in Korea. To manage the problem, a continuous nationwide surveillance and diversified investigation and effort have become more important. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2007;10:59-69)


MRSA, VRE, ESBL, Carbapenem, Antimicrobial resistance, Nationwide surveillance