Antibiotic resistance in 1,003 sputum isolates of Haemophilus influenzae from adults with chronic lung disease was assessed from January 1983 through June 1986. The incidence of resistance was 3.2% for tetracycline, 0.6% for chloramphenicol, and 12.5% for ampicillin. Resistance to ampicillin or tetracycline usually occurred alone, while 100% of chloramphenicol resistant isolates were co-resistant to tetracycline or ampicillin. More than 90% of antibiotic resistant isolates were nontypable and belonged to biotypes II, III, or V. Chart reviews of 331 patients revealed that patients with ampicillin resistant isolates were more likely than control subjects to have received ampicillin in the prior 6 wk (33% versus 6%, p < 0.0001), whereas patients with isolates resistant to tetracycline or chloramphenicol plus tetracycline were more likely to have received tetracycline than control subjects (24% and 50%, respectively, versus 5%, p<0.005). The incidence of ampicillin resistance and the reluctance of physicians caring for adults to use chloramphenicol suggests that a newer cephalosporin such as cefotaxime may be the initial therapy of choice for severe H. influenzae disease in our patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine