Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers


Antimicrobial resistance in eight US hospitals along the US–Mexico border, 2000–2006


a1 Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center For Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA

a2 Division of Global Migration And Quarantine, National Center For Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA

a3 Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD & TB Prevention, CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA


Antimicrobial resistance (AR) is a growing problem worldwide and international travel, cross-border migration, and antimicrobial use may contribute to the introduction or emergence of AR. We examined AR rates and trends along the US–Mexico border by analysing microbiology data from eight US hospitals in three states bordering Mexico. Microbiology data were ascertained for the years 2000–2006 and for select healthcare and community pathogens including, three Gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae) and three Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus, Streptococcus pneumoniae) pathogens and 10 antimicrobial–pathogen combinations. Resistance was highest in S. aureus (oxacillin resistance 45·7%), P. aeruginosa (quinolone resistance 22·3%), and E. coli (quinolone resistance 15·6%); six (60%) of the 10 antimicrobial–pathogen combinations studied had a significantly increasing trend in resistance over the study period. Potential contributing factors in the hospital and community such as infection control practices and antimicrobial use (prescription and non-prescription) should be explored further in the US–Mexico border region.

(Received August 13 2013)

(Revised October 05 2013)

(Accepted November 26 2013)

(Online publication December 17 2013)

Key words

  • Antimicrobial resistance;
  • US–Mexico border


c1 Author for correspondence: S. R. Benoit, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS E-03, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. (Email: bvy8@cdc.gov)