Korean J Nosocomial Infect Control.  2014 Jun;19(1):29-36. 10.14192/kjnic.2014.19.1.29.

Recent Trends in Antimicrobial Resistance in Intensive Care Units in Korea

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Severance Hospital, Research Institute of Bacterial Resistance, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. leekcp@yuhs.ac
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Laboratory Medicine, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Gangneung, Korea.
  • 5Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 6Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chosun University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 7Department of Laboratory Medicine, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA Univeristy, Seongnam, Korea.


In general, higher resistance rates are observed among intensive care unit (ICU) isolates than non-ICU isolates. In this study, resistance rates of isolates from ICUs and non-ICUs were compared using the data generated from 20 hospitals in Korea.
Susceptibility data were collected from 20 hospitals participating in the Korean Nationwide Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (KONSAR) program. Duplicate isolates were excluded from the analysis. The resistance rates did not include intermediate susceptibility.
The most prevalent bacteria in the ICUs were Staphylococcus aureus (21%) and Acinetobacter spp. (19%), and those in non-ICU were Escherichia coli (27%) and S. aureus (14%). The resistance rates were higher in ICUs than in non-ICUs at 84% and 58% for methicillin-resistant S. aureus, 86% and 70% for methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative Staphylcoccus (CNS), 34% and 19% for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, 38% and 19% for cefotaxime-resistant E. coli, 45% and 25% for cefotaxime-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, 42% and 24% for ceftazidime-resistant Enterobacter cloacae, 29% and 11% for ceftazidime-resistant Serattia marcescens, 83% and 44% for imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp., and 32% and 17% for imipenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, respectively.
The most prevalent bacteria in ICUs were S. aureus, CNS, and Acinetobacter spp., and high multi-drug resistance rates were observed in the Acinetobacter isolates. Therefore, infection control should be practiced in ICUs to prevent infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria.


Acinetobacter spp.; Antimicrobial resistance surveillance; Intensive care units (ICU); KONSAR; Staphylococcus aureus

MeSH Terms

Drug Resistance, Multiple
Enterobacter cloacae
Enterococcus faecium
Escherichia coli
Infection Control
Intensive Care Units*
Klebsiella pneumoniae
Methicillin Resistance
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Staphylococcus aureus
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