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The Enterococcus: "Putting the Bug in Our Ears"

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Robert C. Moellering, Jr., M.D.; Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital, 185 Pilgrim Road; Boston, MA 02215.

Boston, Massachusetts

©1987 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(5):757-761. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-106-5-757
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High-level resistance to gentamicin among clinical isolates of enterococci has been found with increasing frequency in recent years. In this issue, Zervos and colleagues report findings from a prospective study in which they assessed the frequency of colonization and infection with such organisms at a university medical center, demonstrating probable person-to-person spread. Their findings suggest that hospitals should conduct systematic screening for enterococci with high-level resistance to gentamicin, that antimicrobial treatment habits be modified to limit the emergence of such organisms, and that rigorous infection control be practiced to minimize their spread. These observations are particularly timely because it has become clear that enterococci are extremely versatile pathogens which are both well suited for survival and capable of causing serious illness, especially in hospitalized patients treated with some of the newer broad-spectrum antibiotic agents. Enterococci with high-level resistance to gentamicin are also of growing concern because their resistance to many antibiotic agents severely limits the clinician's options for treatment.


enterococcus ; ear





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