Gemifloxacin is an enhanced-affinity fluoroquinolone with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. In Korea, resistant bacteria are relatively more prevalent than in other industrialized countries. In this study, we studied the in vitro activities of gemifloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and other commonly used antimicrobial agents against 1,689 bacterial strains isolated at four Korean university hospitals during 1999-2000. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined using the agar dilution method of National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards. Gemifloxacin had the lowest MICs for the respiratory pathogens: 90% of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Haemophilus influenzae were inhibited by 0.06, 0.03, and 0.03 mg/L, respectively. Gemifloxacin was more active than the other fluoroquinolones against methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, streptococci, and Enterococcus faecalis. The MIC90s of gemifloxacin for Klebsiella oxytoca, Proteus vulgaris, and non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. were 0.25, 1.0, and 0.12 mg/L, respectively, while those for other Gram-negative bacilli were 4-64 mg/L. In conclusion, gemifloxacin was the most active among the comparative agents against Gram-positive species, including respiratory pathogens isolated in Korea.
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