Research Article

Tetracycline resistance in pneumococci and group A streptococci. Report of an ad-hoc study group on antibiotic resistance.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 15 January 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:131


In a nationwide survey in the spring of 1975 into the prevalence of tetracycline resistance among pneumoccoci and group A streptococci isolates, 21 laboratories reported the sensitivity of isolates and details of the patients. Altogether 13% of the 1528 pneumococci isolated were resistant to tetracycline, but there were wide geographical variations. Thirty-six per cent of the 1515 streptococci isolated were resistant, and again there was considerable geographical variation. A high level of resistance in one organism did not correlate with a high level in the other. For both organisms resistance was commoner among inpatients and those aged 50 or over. Tetracycline should probably not be the drug of choice in penicillin-sensitive patients with group A streptococcal infections, but geographical variations were so wide that decisions on treatment are best made on the basis of local survey data.