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Antibacterial resistances in uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women: ECO·SENS II data from primary health care in Austria

Gustav Kamenski12, Gernot Wagner2, Sonja Zehetmayer3, Waltraud Fink12, Wolfgang Spiegel2 and Kathryn Hoffmann2*

Author Affiliations

1 Karl Landsteiner Institute for Systematic in General Practice, Ollersbachgasse 144, 2261, Angern, Austria

2 Department of General Practice, Centre for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Währingerstrasse 13a/III, 1090, Vienna, Austria

3 Department of Medical Statistics, Medical University Vienna, Spitalgasse 23, 1090, Vienna, Austria

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:222  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-222

Published: 18 September 2012



Uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) are a frequent reason for consultation of women in primary health care. To avoid therapy failure and development of resistances, the choice of an antibiotic should be based on the knowledge of recent local resistance data but these data are scarce for the Austrian primary health care sector. Within the context of the ECO·SENS II study it was the aim to obtain appropriate and relevant local resistance data and describe the changes in the resistance pattern in comparison to the ECO·SENS study.


23 GPs from different parts of Austria participated in the study between July 2007 and November 2008. According to the defined inclusion- and exclusion criteria female patients with symptoms of an uncomplicated UTI were included and a midstream urine sample was collected. In case of significant bacteriuria susceptibility testing of E. coli against 14 antibiotics was performed. Descriptive statistical methods were used.


In 313 patients included in the study, a total of 147 E. coli isolates (47%) were detected and tested. The resistance rates were in %: Mecillinam (0.0), nitrofurantoin (0.7), fosfomycin trometamol (0.7), gentamycin (1.4), cefotaxime (2.7), ceftazidime (2.7), Cephadroxil (4.1) and ciprofloxacin (4.1). Higher resistance rates were found in amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (8.9), nalidixic acid (9.6), trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole (14.4), trimethoprim (15.8), sulphamethoxazole (21.2) and ampicillin (28.8). Additionally, the comparison of these results with the results of the ECO·SENS study demonstrated an increase in resistance rates of ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin.


The resistance data for E. coli in uncomplicated UTIs in women gained by this study are the most recent data for this disease in Austria at the moment. The increased resistance rates of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid should be respected when choosing an appropriate antibiotic for uncomplicated UTIs. The use of ampicillin, sulphamethoxazole, trimethoprim and trimethoprim/sulphametoxazole in uncomplicated UTIs in women should be questioned at all. The findings of this study should result in a regular surveillance system of resistances emerging in the ambulatory sector designed after the model of the EARS-Net.

Uncomplicated urinary tract infection; Primary health care; Austria; Antibiotic resistance