May 05, 2016
1 min read

ARMOR study shows antibiotic resistance levels remain high

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SEATTLE – Preliminary 2015 data from the Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring in Ocular Microorganism study show that high levels of antibiotic resistance continue among Staphylococcus, especially the methicillin-resistant strains, according to a poster presented here at the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting.

Christine Sanfilippo, PhD, manager of pharmaceutical medical affairs, Bausch + Lomb, told Primary Care Optometry News, “There’s relatively no change in overall trends from 2014. No change means everyone is using good antibiotic stewardship practices.”

In 2015, 441 isolates were collected from 19 U.S. sites, according to the study.

Nonsusceptibility rates for Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) remained steady, researchers reported. The highest level of resistance was found for azithromycin, at 54% to 59%, followed by oxacillin/methicillin, at 24% to 45%, and ciprofloxacin, at 22% to 28%. CoNS was highly nonsusceptible to tobramycin and trimethroprim.

The 2015 preliminary ARMOR data show that one-fifth of S. aureus and more than one-third of CoNS isolates had no susceptibility to three or more drug classes, and 67% of methicillin-resistant S. aureus and 74% of methicillin-resistant CoNS were resistant to multiple drugs.

Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates were found to still be susceptible to fluoroquinolones and chloramphenicol but not to azithromycin (50%) and penicillin (38%). Pseudomonas aeruginosa continues to exhibit low resistance, and Haemophilus influenzae remains susceptible to all antibiotics tested.

Sanfilippo told PCON that doctors tend to have a drug of choice, “but if there is an increase in resistance, doctors may consider rotating antibacterial drugs and encourage patients to complete the full course of antibacterial drug prescribed.”

She said the surveillance data is valuable, especially for regional trends, and also for comparison with susceptibility among systemic infections. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO


Sanfilippo C, et al. Antibiotic resistance profiles of ocular pathogens – An update from the 2015 ARMOR surveillance study. Presented at: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting; May 1-5, 2016; Seattle.

Disclosure: Sanfilippo is manager of pharmaceutical medical affairs for Bausch + Lomb, which sponsored the study.