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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 24 (2013), Issue 3, Pages 143-149
Original Article

Antibiotic-Resistant Escherichia coli in Women with Acute Cystitis in Canada

Warren J McIsaac,1,2 Rahim Moineddin,2 Christopher Meaney,2 and Tony Mazzulli3,4

1Granovsky-Gluskin Family Medicine Centre, Ray D Wolfe Department of Family Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Department of Community and Family Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
4Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) has been a traditional first-line antibiotic treatment for acute cystitis; however, guidelines do not recommend TMP-SMX in regions where Escherichia coli resistance exceeds 20%. While resistance is increasing, there are no recent Canadian estimates from a primary care setting to guide prescribing decisions.

METHODS: A total of 330 family physicians assessed 752 women with suspected acute cystitis between 2009 and 2011. Physicians documented clinical features and collected urine for cultures for 430 (57.2%) women. The proportion of resistant isolates of E coli and exact binomial 95% CIs were estimated nationally, and compared regionally and demographically. These estimates were compared with those from a 2002 national study.

RESULTS: The proportion of TMP-SMX-resistant E coli was 16.0% nationally (95% CI 11.3% to 21.8%). This was not statistically higher than 2002 (10.9% [P=0.14]). TMP-SMX resistance was increased in women ≤50 years of age (21.4%) compared with older women (10.7% [P=0.037]). In women with no antibiotic exposure in the previous three months, TMP-SMX-resistant E coli remained more prevalent in younger women (21.8%) compared with older women (4.4% [P=0.003]). The proportion of ciprofloxacin-resistant E coli was 5.5% nationally (95% CI 2.7% to 9.9%), and was increased compared with 2002 (1.1% [P=0.036]). Ciprofloxacin resistance was highest in British Columbia (17.7%) compared with other regions (2.7% [P=0.003]), and was increased compared with 2002 levels in this province (0.0% [P=0.025]). Nitrofurantoin-resistant E coli levels were low (0.5% [95% CI 0.01% to 2.7%).

DISCUSSION: The proportion of TMP-SMX-resistant E coli causing acute cystitis in women in Canada remains below 20% nationally, but may exceed this level in premenopausal women. Ciprofloxacin resistance has increased, notably in British Columbia. Nitrofurantoin resistance levels are low across the country. These observations indicate that TMP-SMX and nitrofurantoin remain appropriate empirical antibiotic agents for treating cystitis in primary care settings in Canada.