Over an 18-month period (October 1973 to April 1975), 133 strains of gram-negative bacteria with acquired resistance to trimethoprim (TM) were isolated from infected urines cultured at the Royal Free Hospital. The overall frequency of resistance was 3.2%. A disproportionately high number of resistant strains (63.1%) were Klebsiella aerogenes. Resistance to TM mediated by R plasmids occurs infrequently (9% of all resistant strains); the majority of TM R plasmids isolated belonged to one incompatability group (W). Chromosomally mediated resistance to TM in most Escherichia coli and K. aerogenes strains appears to be due mainly to production of a dihydrofolate reductase with a reduced susceptibility to TM. In some strains, increased activity of the DHFR was also a contributing factor. Increase in enzyme level alone was only great enough to account for the level of resistance to TM in a small number of cases.

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