RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Age-related trends in pathogen frequency and antimicrobial susceptibility of bloodstream isolates in North America: SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program, 1997-2000.

We report age-related trends in pathogen frequency and antimicrobial susceptibility from 25,745 bloodstream infections (BSI) due to bacterial pathogens reported from medical centres participating in the North American SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program between January 1997 and September 2000. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) were the most common pathogens, together accounting for 55% of all BSI pathogens during this time period. Among nosocomial BSI, CoNS were the most frequently isolated pathogens in infants less than 1 year of age, but S. aureus increased in frequency with increasing age. Among community-onset BSI pathogens, Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most frequently reported pathogen causing BSI in patients aged 1-5, S. aureus among those aged 6-64, and E. coli predominated at the extremes of age (less than 1 year and > or = 65 years of age). Among key organism: antimicrobial agent combinations evaluated, oxacillin resistance in S. aureus increased with increasing age; conversely, oxacillin resistance among CoNS was highest among children 5 years of age or younger. Penicillin resistance among S. pneumoniae BSI was highest in children younger than 5 years, while vancomycin resistance among Enterococcus spp. predominated among nosocomial BSI in patients over 50 years of age. Important age-related differences exist in species distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility of pathogens causing BSI. This information should be helpful for clinicians as they consider empirical antimicrobial therapy for patients with suspected BSI across the age continuum.

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