Cross-resistance and multi-resistance to selected antibiotics was determine
d for Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, Pseudo
monas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Entero
coccus faecalis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Morax
ella catarrhalis. Amikacin-resist ant Enterobacteriaceae often showed cross
-resistance to beta -lactam antibiotics. Only 1% of the Escherichia coli is
olates showed resistance to more than four antibiotics from a set of seven.
This rate was higher for other Enterobacteriaceae and there were high leve
ls of cross-resistance for P. aeruginosa. The cross-resistance of oxacillin
with other antibiotics is well known in staphylococci. Penicillin-resistan
t pneumococcal isolates were cross-resistant to macrolides. Cross-resistanc
e was only a minor problem in H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis. Cross- and
multi-resistance are important problems for Gram-negative and Gram-positive
bacteria but not for fastidious bacteria with the exception of penicillin-
resistant S. pneumoniae. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. and International S
ociety of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.