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May 2, 1980

Gentamicin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Author Affiliations

The Children's Memorial Hospital Chicago

JAMA. 1980;243(17):1714. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300430016013

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To the Editor.—  Like Donald R. Graham, MD (242:1141, 1979), we have concerns that colonization by gentamicin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in intensive care nurseries may be a source of significant morbidity.Like Faden and co-workers (241: 143, 1979), we had an outbreak of gentamicin-resistant S aureus in our neonatal unit in 1977. From January to December 1977, biweekly screening cultures of the throat, endotracheal tube (if present), and stool of neonates for S aureus revealed a colonization rate of 35/251 (13.9%) of gentamicin-resistant S aureus and a colonization rate of 15/251 (5.9%) for gentamicin-sensitive organisms. Our colonization rate for gentamicinresistant S aureus was considerably lower than that reported by Faden et al.However, of the 35 infants, 14 (40%) colonized with this organism showed development of infections. These included four episodes of sepsis, four episodes of skin infections, three urinary tract infections, and three wound infections.Our experience suggests that the