PURPOSE: Urinary tract infection is the most common nosocomially acquired infection. It is important to know the etiology and antibiotic susceptibility infectious agents to guide the initial empirical treatment. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of bacterial strains and their antibiotic susceptibility in nosocomially acquired urinary tract infection in a university hospital between January and June 2003. METHODS: We analyzed the data of 188 patients with positive urine culture (= 10(5) colony-forming units/mL) following a period of 48 hours after admission. RESULTS: Half of patients were male. Mean age was 50.26 ± 22.7 (SD), range 3 months to 88 years. Gram-negative bacteria were the agent in approximately 80% of cases. The most common pathogens were E. coli (26%), Klebsiella sp. (15%), P. aeruginosa (15%) and Enterococcus sp. (11%). The overall bacteria susceptibility showed that the pathogens were more sensible to imipenem (83%), second or third generation cephalosporin and aminoglycosides; and were highly resistant to ampicillin (27%) and cefalothin (30%). It is important to note the low susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (42%) and norfloxacin (43%). CONCLUSION: This study suggests that if one can not wait the results of urine culture, the best choices to begin empiric treatment are imipenem, second or third generation cephalosporin and aminoglycosides. Cefalothin and ampicillin are quite ineffective to treat these infections
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