Changes in sensitivity patterns to selected antibiotics in Clostridium difficile in geriatric in-patients over an 18-month period

Lisa J. Drummond, Jodie McCoubrey, David George Emslie Smith, John M. Starr, Ian R. Poxton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Clostridium difficile-associated disease continues to be a major problem in hospitals and long-term care facilities throughout the developed world. Administration of certain antibiotics such as amoxycillin, oral cephalosporins and clindamycin is associated with the greatest risk of developing C. difficile disease. The two antibiotics used for treatment of C. difficile disease are vancomycin and metronidazole, to which there is currently very little resistance. Randomly selected isolates (186) from 90 patients being investigated during an 18-month epidemiological study into the disease were tested for their susceptibility to vancomycin, metronidazole, amoxycillin, clindamycin, cefoxitin and ceftriaxone by the NCCLS agar dilution method. There was a narrow range of MIC for the two treatment agents (vancomycin and metronidazole), from 0.5 to 4 microg ml(-1), with no evidence of resistance. All strains were resistant to cefoxitin (MIC 64-256 microg ml(-1)), the antibiotic used in most selective media. All strains were of similar sensitivity to amoxycillin (MIC(90)= 4 microg ml(-1)). Most strains were resistant to ceftriaxone (MIC > or = 64 microg ml(-1)) or of intermediate resistance (MIC > or = 32 microg ml(-1)), with only two sensitive strains (MIC 16 microg ml(-1)). Clindamycin resistance was common, with 67 % of strains resistant (MIC > or = 8 microg ml(-1)), 25 % with intermediate resistance (MIC > or = 4 microg ml(-1)) and only 8 % sensitive (MIC < or = 2 microg ml(-1)). Twelve isolates from six different patients had very high resistance to clindamycin (MIC > or = 128 microg ml(-1)). Multiple isolates from the same patient, taken at different times, showed changes in susceptibility patterns over time. The only major change in susceptibility over the time-period was in clindamycin resistance; some strains appeared to become more resistant while others became less resistant. No differences were seen in the MIC(50) and MIC(90) of the different S-types of C. difficile identified, although some S-types were present in very small numbers. There was no correlation between the antibiotics prescribed and susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003


  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Time Factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in sensitivity patterns to selected antibiotics in Clostridium difficile in geriatric in-patients over an 18-month period'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this