This study examined the resistance to penicillin, tetracycline, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol of 318 pneumococcal strains isolated in Spanish hospitals from blood or cerebrospinal fluid of patients during 1979 to 1981. The serotypes of these strains were determined to discover whether a correlation between serotype and patterns of antibiotic resistance could be found. Seven and nine patterns of resistance were found in strains isolated from blood and cerebrospinal fluid, respectively; tetracycline was the most frequent pattern, followed by tetracycline associated with chloramphenicol. A random distribution of serotypes which was similar to the general distribution of serotypes was found for resistance to tetracycline and chloramphenicol, but penicillin-resistant strains were confined to seven serotypes. Thirty-six strains of penicillin-resistant pneumococci isolated from sources other than blood or cerebrospinal fluid were also serotyped. They represented the same serotypes, suggesting that serotype distribution among penicillin-resistant strains could be a manifestation of local epidemiological factors
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