Antibiotic Resistance Rates by Geographic Region Among Ocular Pathogens Collected During the ARMOR Surveillance Study

Penny A. Asbell, Rahul Pandit, Christine M. Sanfilippo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: The Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring in Ocular micRoorganisms (ARMOR) study is an ongoing nationwide surveillance program that surveys in vitro antibiotic resistance rates and trends among ocular bacterial pathogens. We report resistance rates by geographic region for isolates collected from 2009 through 2016. Methods: Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS), Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from ocular infections were collected at clinical centers across the US and categorized by geographic region based on state. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for various antibiotics were determined at a central laboratory, and isolates were classified as susceptible or resistant based on established breakpoints. Geographic differences in methicillin resistance among staphylococci were evaluated by χ2 test with multiple comparisons, whereas geographic differences in mean percentage antibiotic resistance were evaluated by one-way analyses of variance and Tukey’s test. Results: Overall, 4829 isolates (Midwest, 1886; West, 1167; Northeast, 1143; South, 633) were evaluated. Across all regions, azithromycin resistance was high among S. aureus (49.4–67.8%), CoNS (61.0–62.8%), and S. pneumoniae (22.3–48.7%), whereas fluoroquinolone resistance ranged from 26.1% to 47.8% among S. aureus and CoNS. Across all regions, all staphylococci were susceptible to vancomycin; besifloxacin MICs were similar to those of vancomycin. Geographic differences were observed for overall mean resistance among S. aureus, S. pneumoniae, and P. aeruginosa isolates (p ≤ 0.005); no regional differences were found among CoNS and H. influenzae isolates. Methicillin resistance in particular was higher among S. aureus isolates from the South and CoNS isolates from the Midwest (p ≤ 0.006). Conclusion: This analysis of bacterial isolates from the ARMOR study demonstrated geographic variation in resistance rates among ocular isolates, with greater in vitro resistance apparent in the South and Midwest for some organisms. These data may inform clinicians in selecting appropriate treatment options for ocular infections. Funding: Bausch & Lomb, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-429
Number of pages13
JournalOphthalmology and Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Besifloxacin
  • Geographic region
  • Ocular infections
  • Ocular pathogens
  • Surveillance study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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