Multiresistance to antimicrobial agents is common in staphylococci and pneumococci isolates in the Western Pacific region. The activity of linezolid, a new oxazolidinone, was evaluated against a spectrum of Gram-positive species collected in the region. Eighteen laboratories from six countries in the Western Pacific examined the linezolid susceptibility of 2143 clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) and Enterococcus spp. using broth microdilution or disc diffusion methodology. For Streptococcus pneumoniae (n=351) and other streptococci (n=83), Etest (AB Biodisk, Solna, Sweden) strips were used. Results were compared with other common and important antimicrobials. Linezolid-resistant strains were not detected among streptococci or staphylococci, including a significant proportion of S. aureus strains that were multiresistant. Almost all enterococci, including 14 vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, were linezolid susceptible. A small proportion of enterococci (0.8%) were intermediate to linezolid, and one strain of Enterococcus faecalis had a zone diameter of 20 mm (resistant). The linezolid MIC ranges (MIC90) of those strains tested by broth microdilution or Etest were: 1-4 mg/L (2 mg/L) for S. aureus, 0.5-4 mg/L (2 mg/L) for CoNS, 0.5-4 mg/L (2 mg/L) for Enterococcus spp., 0.12-2 mg/L (1 mg/L) for S. pneumoniae and 0.25-2 mg/L (1 mg/L) for Streptococcus spp. There was no difference in linezolid susceptibility between countries or between multiresistant and susceptible strains of each species monitored.
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