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Volume 4, Number 2—June 1998


Emergence of the M Phenotype of Erythromycin-Resistant Pneumococci in South Africa

Carol A. Widdowson and Keith P. Klugman
Author affiliations: South African Institute for Medical Research, Johannesburg, South Africa

Main Article

Table 1

Prevalence of South African erythromycin-resistant pneumococcal isolates, 1987–1996a

Years Total
isolatesb No. of E-R
strains (%)c No. of M strains
(% of E-R strains)
1987-1991 5,115 128 (2.5) 1 (0.8)
1992-1996 4,753 142 (3.0) 28 (19.7)
Total 9,868 270 (2.7) 29 (10.7)

aOf 9,868 blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) isolates received by the SAIMR from 1987 to 1996, 270 were fully resistant to erythromycin. While the number of erythromycin-resistant blood and CSF isolates received increased from 1987 to 1991 compared with 1992 to 1996 (2.5% to 3.0%), the increase was not significant. There was no significant relationship between erythromycin resistance and the M phenotype within any given province throughout the 10 years.
bBlood and cerebrospinal fluid isolates.
cE-R= erythromycin-resistant.

Main Article