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Pediatric Antimicrobial Susceptibility Trends across the United States

  • Pranita D. Tamma (a1), Gwen L. Robinson (a2), Jeffrey S. Gerber (a3), Jason G. Newland (a4), Chloe M. DeLisle (a1), Theoklis E. Zaoutis (a3) and Aaron M. Milstone (a1)...



Antimicrobial susceptibility patterns across US pediatric healthcare institutions are unknown. A national pooled pediatric antibiogram (1) identifies nationwide trends in antimicrobial resistance, (2) allows across-hospital benchmarking, and (3) provides guidance for empirical antimicrobial regimens for institutions unable to generate pediatric antibiograms.


In January 2012, a request for submission of pediatric antibiograms between 2005 and 2011 was sent to 233 US hospitals. A summary antibiogram was compiled from participating institutions to generate proportions of antimicrobial susceptibility. Temporal and regional comparisons were evaluated using χ² tests and logistic regression, respectively.


Of 200 institutions (85%) responding to our survey, 78 (39%) reported generating pediatric antibiograms, and 55 (71%) submitted antibiograms. Carbapenems had the highest activity against the majority of gram-negative organisms tested, but no antibiotic had more than 90% activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Approximately 50% of all Staphylococcus aureus isolates were methicillin resistant. Western hospitals had significantly lower proportions of S. aureus that were methicillin resistant compared with all other regions tested. Overall, 21% of S. aureus isolates had resistance to clindamycin. Among Enterococcus faecium isolates, the prevalence of susceptibility to ampicillin (25%) and vancomycin (45%) was low but improved over time (P < .01), and 8% of E. faecium isolates were resistant to linezolid. Southern hospitals reported significantly higher prevalence of E. faecium with susceptibilities to ampicillin, vancomycin, and linezolid compared with the other 3 regions (P < .01).


A pooled, pediatric antibiogram can identify nationwide antimicrobial resistance patterns for common pathogens and might serve as a useful tool for benchmarking resistance and informing national prescribing guidelines for children.

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Corresponding author

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, 200 North Wolfe Street, Suite 3155, Baltimore, MD 21287 (


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