Antibiotic susceptibility in Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pyogenes in Pakistan: a review of results from the Survey of Antibiotic Resistance (SOAR) 2002-15

Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Objectives: To investigate changes in the antibiotic susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pyogenes from the Survey of Antibiotic Resistance (SOAR) in community-acquired respiratory tract infections (CA-RTIs) between 2002 and 2015 in Pakistan.Methods: This is a review based on previously published studies from 2002-03, 2004-06 and 2007-09 and also new data from 2014-15. Susceptibility was determined by Etest() or disc diffusion according to CLSI and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) breakpoints.Results: A total of 706 isolates from CA-RTIs comprising 381 S. pneumoniae, 230 H. influenzae and 95 S. pyogenes were collected between 2002 and 2015 and tested against a range of antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance in S. pneumoniae rose steeply from 2002 to 2009, with isolates non-susceptible to penicillin and macrolides increasing from 10% to 34.1% and from 13%-14% to 29.7%, respectively. Susceptibility to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (and by inference amoxicillin) remained between 99.4% and 100% from 2002 to 2015. Over the years, the prevalence of susceptibility to cefuroxime was 98%-100% among S. pneumoniae. Resistance in S. pneumoniae to some older antibiotics between 2007 and 2009 was high (86.8% for trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and 57.2% for tetracycline). Between 2002 and 2015, ampicillin resistance (beta-lactamase-positive strains) among H. influenzae has remained low (between 2.6% and 3.2%) and almost unchanged over the years (H. influenzae was not tested during 2004-06). For S. pyogenes isolates, macrolide resistance reached 22%; however, susceptibility to penicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and cefuroxime remained stable at 100%.CONCLUSIONS: In S. pneumoniae from Pakistan, there has been a clear reduction in susceptibility to key antibiotics since 2002, but not to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (amoxicillin) or cefuroxime. However, susceptibility in H. influenzae has remained stable. Local antibiotic susceptibility/resistance data are essential to support informed prescribing for CA-RTIs and other infections.


The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy