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A review of Providencia bacteremia in a general hospital, with a comment on patterns of antimicrobial sensitivity and use.

Six cases of Providencia bacteremia occurring between 1969 and 1978 were reviewed. These cases represented 3% of the gram-negative bacteremias occurring at one hospital. All six cases of Providencia bacteremia were secondary to urinary tract infection with P. stuartii, and in most the infection developed only shortly before the onset of bacteremia; in three cases the bacteremia developed immediately following manipulation of the urinary tract. Patients with long-standing Providencia infections did not acquire bacteremia. The signs and symptoms of Providencia bacteremia were typical of those of septicemia except that vascular collapse was not a prominent feature, occurring in only one patient. The mortality was 33%. All the Providencia strains cultured from the bloodstream were susceptible to gentamicin, although the frequency of gentamicin resistance increased from roughly 10% to 50% during the period studied; the increase in gentamicin use over this period was more gradual. Also noted was a decrease in resistance to ampicillin that paralleled a decrease in ampicillin use. All the Providencia strains were susceptible to amikacin.

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