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Résistance aux antibiotiques chez les pneumocoques [Pneumococcal antibiotic resistance].
Revue Médicale de la Suisse Romande
Date de publication
In 1875, 7 years prior to the description of the Koch bacillus, Klebs visualized the first Streptococcus pneumoniae in a pleural fluid. Since then, this organism has played a determinant role in biomedical science. From a biological point of view, it was largely implicated in the development of passive and active immunization by serotherapy and vaccination, respectively. Genetic transformation was also first observed in S. pneumoniae, leading to the discovery of DNA. From a clinical point of view, S. pneumoniae is still today a prime cause of otitis media in children and of pneumonia in all age groups, as well as a predominant cause of meningitis and bacteremia. In adults, bacteremia is still entailed with a mortality of over 25%. Although S. pneumoniae remained very sensitive to penicillin for many years, penicillin-resistance has emerged and increased dramatically over the last 15 years. During this period of time, the frequency of penicillin-resistant isolates has increased from < or = 1% to frequencies varying from 20 to 60% in geographic areas as diverse as South Africa, Spain, France, Hungary, Iceland, Alaska, and numerous regions of the United States and South America. In Switzerland, the current frequency of penicillin-resistant pneumococci ranges between 5 and > or = 10%. The increase in penicillin-resistant pneumococci correlates with the intensive use of beta-lactam antibiotics. The mechanism of resistance is not due to bacterial production of penicillinase, but to an alteration of the bacterial target of penicillin, the so-called penicillin-binding proteins. Resistance is subdivided into (i) inter mediate level resistance (minimal inhibitory concentration [MIC] of penicillin of 0.1-1 mg/L) and (ii) high level resistance (MCI > or = 2 mg/L). The clinical significance of intermediate resistance remains poorly defined. On the other hand, highly resistant strains were responsible for numerous therapeutical failures, especially in cases of meningitis. Antibiotics recommended against penicillin-resistant pneumococci include cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, imipenem and in some instances vancomycin. However, penicillin-resistant pneumococci tend to present cross-resistances to all the antibotics of the beta-lactam family and could even become resistant to the last resort drugs mentioned above. Thus, in conclusion, the explosion of resistance to penicillin in pneumococci is a ubiquitous phenomenon which must be fought against by (i) a strict utilization of antibiotics, (ii) the practice of microbiological sampling of infected foci before treatment, (iii) the systematic surveillance of resistance profiles of pneumococci against antibiotics and (iv) the adequate vaccination of populations at risk.
Adult, Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use, Child, Humans, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Molecular Epidemiology, Patient Selection, Penicillin Resistance/physiology, Pneumococcal Infections/drug therapy, Pneumococcal Infections/epidemiology, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Prevalence, Serotyping, Streptococcus pneumoniae/classification, Streptococcus pneumoniae/drug effects
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