- Many reports describe an increasing antibiotic resistance among various pathogenic bacteria. Since every empiric antibiotic treatment is also based on the expected antibiogram of the probable isolate, it is essential to frequently monitor the resistance trends at different ages and contexts. The purpose of this study was to monitor the antibiogram of a large bacterial population isolated from pediatric bacteremia episodes. All bacteremia episodes of children under the age of 18 years in the Soroka Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel, were prospectively documented from January 1990 to December 1998. Of the 5,373 positive blood cultures that were noted during the study period, 1,689 were considered as true different episodes. During the years 1990-92, 1993-95 and 1996-98 454, 538 and 697 episodes were noted, respectively. The most common pathogens were Streptococcus pneumoniae (447 isolates), Staphylococcus aureus (224 isolates), Escherichia coli (187 isolates) and Klebsiella spp (180 isolates). The antibiotic sensitivity of the pathogens declined with time in some of the cases and increased in others. The major problems raised were the development of ESBL (extended spectrum beta lactamase) and MRSA (methacillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) producing isolates, high level of resistance of coagulase negative Staphylococci and Acinetobacter to most of the antibiotic agents, and increasing resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae to various agents. Despite the significant increase in the antibiotic resistance of many of the pathogens tested, there are still various therapeutic options available.