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Résistance aux antibiotiques chez les pneumocoques.
Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift
In 1875, 7 years prior to the description of the Koch bacillus, Klebs visualized the first Streptococcus pneumoniae in pleural fluid. Since then, this organism has played a decisive role in biomedical science. From a biological point of view, it was extensively involved 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 today still 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 still has a mortality of over 25%. Although S. pneumoniae remained very sensitive to penicillin for many years, penicillin-resistant strains have emerged and increased dramatically over the last 15 years. During this period 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 (1) intermediate level resistance (minimal inhibitory concentration [MIC] of penicillin of 0.1-1 mg/l) and (2) high level resistance (MCI > or = 2 mg/l). The clinical significance of intermediate resistance remains poorly defined. On the other hand, highly resistant strains have been responsible for numerous therapeutic 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 antibiotics of the beta-lactam family and could even become resistant to the last resort drugs mentioned above. Thus, the explosion of resistance to penicillin in pneumococci is a ubiquitous phenomenon which must be fought against by (1) avoiding excessive use of antibiotics, (2) the practice of microbiological sampling of infected foci before treatment, (3) the systematic surveillance of resistance profiles of pneumococci against antibiotics and (4) adequate vaccination of populations at risk.
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use, Cephalosporins/therapeutic use, Cross Reactions, Humans, Penicillin Resistance/genetics, Pneumococcal Infections/drug therapy, Pneumococcal Infections/microbiology, Streptococcus pneumoniae/drug effects
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