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1.  Prevalence of blaZ Gene Types and the Inoculum Effect with Cefazolin among Bloodstream Isolates of Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus 
We sought to define the prevalence of blaZ gene types and the inoculum effect to cefazolin among methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bloodstream infections. The blaZ gene was present in 142/185 (77%) isolates. A total of 50 (27%) isolates had a ≥4-fold increase in the cefazolin MIC from a standard to a high inoculum, and 8 (4%) demonstrated a nonsusceptible cefazolin MIC, all type A blaZ strains. The efficacy of cefazolin in the presence of the inoculum effect requires further study.
PMCID: PMC3421557  PMID: 22585225
2.  In Vivo Effects of Cefazolin, Daptomycin, and Nafcillin in Experimental Endocarditis with a Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Strain Showing an Inoculum Effect against Cefazolin 
Several reports have implicated the inoculum effect that some strains of type A beta-lactamase (Bla)-producing, methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) show against cefazolin as the cause for clinical failures in certain serious deep-seated infections. Here, using a previously reported MSSA strain displaying this phenotype (TX0117), we obtained a Bla-cured derivative (TX0117c) with a combination of novobiocin and high temperature. Both isolates were then used in a rat endocarditis model and treated with cefazolin, nafcillin, and daptomycin, given to simulate human dosing. Animals were treated for 3 days and either sacrificed at 24 h after the last antibiotic dose (standard group) or left untreated for an additional 3 days (relapse group). With TX0117 in the standard treatment group, daptomycin and nafcillin were both significantly better than cefazolin in reducing CFU/g of vegetations, achieving mean log10 reductions compared to levels in untreated rats of 7.1, 5.3, and 1.8, respectively (cefazolin versus daptomycin, P < 0.0001; cefazolin versus nafcillin, P = 0.005; daptomycin versus nafcillin, P = 0.053). In addition, cefazolin was significantly more effective in reducing vegetation titers of TX0117c than of TX0117 (mean log10 reduction of 1.4 versus 5.5, respectively; P = 0.0001). Similar results were observed with animals in the relapse group. Thus, these data show that there can be an in vivo consequence of the in vitro inoculum effect that some MSSA strains display against cefazolin and indicate a specific role for Bla production using a Bla-cured derivative strain against which cefazolin regained both in vitro and in vivo activity.
PMCID: PMC3754321  PMID: 23796934
3.  beta-Lactamase-mediated inactivation and efficacy of cefazolin and cefmetazole in Staphylococcus aureus abscesses. 
12694668 Clinical reports and animal models have demonstrated that cefazolin may have decreased efficacy against some strains of Staphylococcus aureus because of type A beta-lactamase-mediated hydrolysis. We sought to measure biologically active cefazolin concentrations within abscesses with high concentrations of S. aureus and compare the concentrations with those of cefmetazole, a beta-lactamase-stable cephamycin. A type A beta-lactamase-producing strain of S. aureus with a demonstrated inoculum effect against cefazolin (MIC at an inoculum of 5 x 10(5) CFU/ml, 1.0 micrograms/ml; MIC at an inoculum of 5 x 10(7) CFU/ml, 32.0 micrograms/ml) but not cefmetazole (MICs at inocula of 5 x 10(5) and 5 x 10(7) CFU/ml, 2.0 micrograms/ml) was used. Cefazolin or cefmetazole (100 mg/kg of body weight every 8 h for 8 days) was administered to rabbits with infected tissue cages. No differences in the concentrations of the two drugs in the uninfected tissue cages were observed. Higher concentrations of cefmetazole than cefazolin were found in infected tissue cages at day 3 (5.9 +/- 0.7 versus 2.2 +/- 0.3 micrograms/ml; P < 0.01), day 5 (9.1 +/- 2.6 versus 3.6 +/- 0.7 micrograms/ml; P = 0.02), and day 8 (9.4 +/- 1.4 versus 4.8 +/- 0.9 micrograms/ml; P = 0.01) after infection. Cefazolin and cefmetazole were equally effective in reducing the bacterial concentration in the abscess. In vitro experiments demonstrated greater cefazolin than cefmetazole degradation by S. aureus, but the differences were greater in serum than in abscess fluid supernatants. We conclude that abscess cefazolin concentrations are diminished by type A beta-lactamase-producing S. aureus, but this did not affect drug efficacy in this model.
PMCID: PMC187639  PMID: 8452349
4.  Determination of an Inoculum Effect with Various Cephalosporins among Clinical Isolates of Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus▿  
Using 98 clinical methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus isolates of known β-lactamase (Bla) type, we found a pronounced inoculum effect for cephalexin (mostly Bla type A and C strains), a mild inoculum effect for cephalothin (especially types B and C), and no inoculum effects for ceftriaxone and cefuroxime. Ceftobiprole showed the lowest MICs at a high inoculum but with a slight increase for Bla-positive versus Bla-negative strains. Since a potential therapeutic effect associated with a cephalosporin inoculum effect has been described, further studies are warranted.
PMCID: PMC2863656  PMID: 20211890
5.  Is Cefazolin Inferior to Nafcillin for Treatment of Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia?▿ 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2011;55(11):5122-5126.
About 20% of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) isolates have a substantial inoculum effect with cefazolin, suggesting that cefazolin treatment may be associated with clinical failure for serious MSSA infections. There are no well-matched controlled studies comparing cefazolin with nafcillin for the treatment of MSSA bacteremia. A retrospective propensity-score-matched case-control study was performed from 2004 to 2009 in a tertiary care hospital where nafcillin was unavailable from August 2004 to August 2006. The cefazolin group (n = 49) included MSSA-bacteremic patients treated with cefazolin during the period of nafcillin unavailability, while the nafcillin group (n = 84) comprised those treated with nafcillin. Treatment failure was defined as a composite outcome of a change of antibiotics due to clinical failure, relapse, and mortality. Of 133 patients, 41 patients from each group were matched by propensity scores. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the matched groups. The treatment failure rates were not significantly different at 4 or 12 weeks (10% [4/41] versus 10% [4/41] at 4 weeks [P > 0.99] and 15% [6/41] versus 15% [6/41] at 12 weeks [P > 0.99]). Cefazolin treatment was interrupted less frequently than nafcillin treatment due to drug adverse events (0% versus 17%; P = 0.02). Cefazolin had clinical efficacy similar to that of nafcillin and was more tolerable than nafcillin for the treatment of MSSA bacteremia.
PMCID: PMC3195033  PMID: 21825299
6.  Evidence for a purifying selection acting on the β-lactamase locus in epidemic clones of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
BMC Microbiology  2011;11:76.
The β-lactamase (bla) locus, which confers resistance to penicillins only, may control the transcription of mecA, the central element of methicillin resistance, which is embedded in a polymorphic heterelogous chromosomal cassette (the SCCmec element). In order to assess the eventual correlation between bla allotypes and genetic lineages, SCCmec types and/or β-lactam resistance phenotypes, the allelic variation on the bla locus was evaluated in a representative collection of 54 international epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clinical strains and, for comparative purposes, also in 24 diverse methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) strains.
Internal fragments of blaZ (the β-lactamase structural gene) were sequenced for all strains. A subset of strains, representative of blaZ allotypes, was further characterized by sequencing of internal fragments of the blaZ transcriptional regulators, blaI and blaR1. Thirteen allotypes for blaZ, nine for blaI and 12 for blaR1 were found. In a total of 121 unique single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) detected, no frameshift mutations were identified and only one nonsense mutation within blaZ was found in a MRSA strain. On average, blaZ alleles were more polymorphic among MSSA than in MRSA (14.7 vs 11.4 SNP/allele). Overall, blaR1 was the most polymorphic gene with an average of 24.8 SNP/allele. No correlation could be established between bla allotypes and genetic lineages, SCCmec types and/or β-lactam resistance phenotypes. In order to estimate the selection pressure acting on the bla locus, the average dN/dS values were computed. In the three genes and in both collections dN/dS ratios were significantly below 1.
The data strongly suggests the existence of a purifying selection to maintain the bla locus fully functional even on MRSA strains. Although, this is in agreement with the notion that in most clinical MRSA strains mecA gene is under the control of the bla regulatory genes, these findings also suggest that the apparently redundant function of blaZ gene for the MRSA resistant phenotype is still important for these strains. In addition, the data shows that the sensor-inducer blaR1 is the primary target for the accumulation of mutations in the bla locus, presumably to modulate the response to the presence of β-lactam antibiotic.
PMCID: PMC3102608  PMID: 21496235
β-lactamase; β-lactam resistance; allelic variation; MSSA; MRSA; mecA stabilization
7.  Relative Inactivation by Staphylococcus aureus of Eight Cephalosporin Antibiotics 
These studies extend the recent observation that cefazolin is inactivated to a greater extent than cephaloridine by some strains of penicillinase-producing Staphylococcus aureus, whereas cephalothin undergoes little if any inactivation. In Mueller-Hinton broth (inoculum, 3 × 106) 100 recently isolated strains had minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ≤ 2 μg/ml for cephalothin and cephaloridine, whereas in Trypticase soy broth (TSB) 50% had MICs > 2 μg/ml and 10% (designated “resistant” strains) were >8 μg/ml for cephaloridine but remained ≤2 μg/ml for cephalothin. A large inoculum (3 × 107) of strains with high MICs in TSB almost completely inactivated 50 μg of cefazolin per ml in 6 h, with progressively less inactivation, in the following order, of cephaloridine, cephalexin, cephradine, cephapirin, and cefamandole; cefoxitin and cephalothin underwent little if any inactivation. The greater inactivation in TSB than in Mueller-Hinton broth appeared to be due to a greater production of β-lactamases by each colony-forming unit, since the inoculum size in the two broths was not significantly different. In contrast, “susceptible” strains (MICs ≤ 2 μg/ml in both broths) inactivated cephaloridine more than cefazolin, and equal amounts of powdered bacterial extracts confirmed the fact that qualitatively different β-lactamases were produced by the susceptible and resistant strains. Disk diffusion tests were unreliable in separating the two groups of staphylococci. The clinical significance of inactivation by strains with high MICs is not known but, unless susceptibility can be clearly established, cephalothin appears preferable for severe staphylococcal infections, since it undergoes little if any inactivation by any strains of staphylococci.
PMCID: PMC429654  PMID: 938023
8.  Production of A and C variants of staphylococcal beta-lactamase by methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus. 
Most methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains produce beta-lactamase. To determine whether this enzyme(s) is identical to one or more of the four beta-lactamases produced by methicillin-susceptible strains, the beta-lactamases of 50 MRSA isolates were typed by using substrate profile analysis. Forty type A, no type B, ten type C, and no type D beta-lactamase-producing strains were identified. The beta-lactamase inhibitor sulbactam reduced the MICs of beta-lactamase-labile antibiotics, including ampicillin, penicillin G, and cefazolin, for type A and type C MRSA strains.
PMCID: PMC284608  PMID: 7979301
9.  Altered production of penicillin-binding protein 2a can affect phenotypic expression of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1994;38(11):2568-2571.
Altered production of penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP 2a) may affect the phenotypic expression of resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). COL, an MRSA strain that constitutively produces PBP 2a, was transformed with a recombinant plasmid containing the two beta-lactamase regulatory genes, blaI and blaR1, with either the beta-lactamase gene, blaZ, or a truncated blaZ. Both of the transformed MRSA strains now produced an inducible PBP 2a, and the MICs of nafcillin, methicillin, and imipenem for these strains were similar to those for the parental strain. A mutation in blaR1 that resulted in the complete repression of PBP 2a production altered the phenotypic expression of methicillin resistance in that strain, as evidenced by efficiency-of-plating experiments. Rather than being homogeneously resistant like COL, the blaR1 mutant strain now appeared to have a small resistant subpopulation. Gene products that regulate PBP 2a production may contribute to the organism's expression of methicillin resistance, but additional chromosomally located factors are required.
PMCID: PMC188243  PMID: 7872749
10.  Linezolid Therapy of Staphylococcus aureus Experimental Osteomyelitis 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2000;44(12):3438-3440.
The in vivo activity of linezolid or cefazolin against a clinical isolate of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (linezolid MIC, 2 μg/ml) was studied in a rat model of experimental osteomyelitis. Sixty rats with experimental S. aureus osteomyelitis were treated for 21 days with no antimicrobial, with 25 μg of linezolid per kg of body weight administered intraperitoneally twice or three times a day, or with 50 μg of cefazolin per kg administered intramuscularly three times a day. After treatment, the animals were sacrificed and the infected tibiae were processed for quantitative bacterial cultures. The results of treatment were expressed as log10 CFU/gram of bone and analyzed by rank sum analysis. The results of linezolid treatment were not significantly different from those of untreated controls, while cefazolin treatment was significantly more active than no treatment or linezolid treatment.
PMCID: PMC90219  PMID: 11083654
11.  Association of Borderline Oxacillin-Susceptible Strains of Staphylococcus aureus with Surgical Wound Infections 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(1):219-222.
Staphylococcus aureus isolates which produce type A staphylococcal β-lactamase have been associated with wound infections complicating the use of cefazolin prophylaxis in surgery. To further evaluate this finding, 215 wound isolates from 14 cities in the United States were characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility and β-lactamase type and correlated with the preoperative prophylactic regimen. Borderline-susceptible S. aureus isolates of phage group 5 (BSSA-5), which produce large amounts of type A β-lactamase and exhibit borderline susceptibility to oxacillin, comprised a greater percentage of the 120 wound isolates associated with cefazolin prophylaxis than they did of the 95 isolates associated with other prophylactic regimens (25% versus 12.6%, respectively; P < 0.05). In contrast, methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates were distributed evenly between the two groups (8.3% versus 11.6%, respectively). In vitro assays demonstrated that cefazolin was hydrolyzed faster by BSSA-5 strains than by other β-lactamase-producing, methicillin-susceptible strains (1.54 versus 0.50 μg/min/108 CFU, respectively; P < 0.0001). These data demonstrate that BSSA-5 strains are a distinct subpopulation of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus which frequently cause deep surgical wound infections. Cefazolin use in prophylaxis is a risk factor for BSSA-5 infection.
PMCID: PMC124838  PMID: 9431951
12.  Use of chromosomal integration in the establishment and expression of blaZ, a Staphylococcus aureus beta-lactamase gene, in Bacillus subtilis. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1984;157(3):718-726.
With several different vectors, attempts were made to establish blaZ, a Staphylococcus aureus beta-lactamase gene, in Bacillus subtilis. Stable establishment of blaZ in B. subtilis was achieved by use of a vector that allowed the integration of a single copy of the gene into the chromosome of that host. blaZ was expressed in the heterologous host since B. subtilis strains carrying integrated blaZ produced beta-lactamase and were more resistant to ampicillin than was wild-type B. subtilis. blaZ was stably inherited in such strains, as no loss of the ability to produce beta-lactamase was observed after growth in nonselective liquid medium or on solid medium. In contrast, a blaZ-containing restriction fragment could not be established in B. subtilis with either pUB110- or pC194-based vectors. Similarly, a pC194-based shuttle vector (pGX318) containing the 5' end of blaZ (including the promoter and the coding region for the signal sequence and the first few amino acids of the mature protein) was unable to transform B. subtilis. Two derivatives of pGX318 that could be stably established in B. subtilis were isolated. The structures of these derivatives suggested that inactivation of the blaZ promoter was associated with the acquisition of the ability to be established.
PMCID: PMC215317  PMID: 6321431
13.  Time-Kill and Synergism Studies of Ceftobiprole against Enterococcus faecalis, Including β-Lactamase-Producing and Vancomycin-Resistant Isolates▿  
Ceftobiprole (BAL9141) is an investigational cephalosporin with broad in vitro activity against gram-positive cocci, including enterococci. Ceftobiprole MICs were determined for 93 isolates of Enterococcus faecalis (including 16 β-lactamase [Bla] producers and 17 vancomycin-resistant isolates) by an agar dilution method following the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute recommendations. Ceftobiprole MICs were also determined with a high inoculum concentration (107 CFU/ml) for a subset of five Bla producers belonging to different previously characterized clones by a broth dilution method. Time-kill and synergism studies (with either streptomycin or gentamicin) were performed with two β-lactamase-producing isolates (TX0630 and TX5070) and two vancomycin-resistant isolates (TX2484 [VanB] and TX2784 [VanA]). The MICs of ceftobiprole for 50 and 90% of the isolates tested were 0.25 and 1 μg/ml, respectively. All Bla producers and vancomycin-resistant isolates were inhibited by concentrations of ≤1 and ≤4 μg/ml, respectively, at the standard inoculum concentration. Ceftobiprole MICs at a high inoculum concentration for a subset of five Bla+ E. faecalis isolates were ≤1 μg/ml. Bactericidal activity was observed against four isolates tested at concentrations as low as 1 μg/ml regardless of the production of β-lactamase or vancomycin resistance. A combination of ceftobiprole (0.5 μg/ml) and streptomycin (25 μg/ml) was synergistic against Bla+ TX0630 and TX5070. Ceftobiprole (0.5 μg/ml) plus gentamicin (10 μg/ml) was synergistic against VanB isolate TX2484 and showed enhanced killing, but not synergism, against TX2784 (VanA), despite the absence of high-level resistance to gentamicin. In conclusion, ceftobiprole exhibited good in vitro activity against E. faecalis, including Bla+ and vancomycin-resistant strains, and exhibited synergism with aminoglycosides against selected isolates.
PMCID: PMC1891360  PMID: 17438057
14.  Comparative effectiveness of nafcillin or cefazolin versus vancomycin in methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:279.
The high prevalence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) has led clinicians to select antibiotics that have coverage against MRSA, usually vancomycin, for empiric therapy for suspected staphylococcal infections. Clinicians often continue vancomycin started empirically even when methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) strains are identified by culture. However, vancomycin has been associated with poor outcomes such as nephrotoxicity, persistent bacteremia and treatment failure. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of vancomycin versus the beta-lactam antibiotics nafcillin and cefazolin among patients with MSSA bacteremia. The outcome of interest for this study was 30-day in-hospital mortality.
This retrospective cohort study included all adult in-patients admitted to a tertiary-care facility between January 1, 2003 and June 30, 2007 who had a positive blood culture for MSSA and received nafcillin, cefazolin or vancomycin. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess independent mortality hazards comparing nafcillin or cefazolin versus vancomycin. Similar methods were used to estimate the survival benefits of switching from vancomycin to nafcillin or cefazolin versus leaving patients on vancomycin. Each model included statistical adjustment using propensity scores which contained variables associated with an increased propensity to receive vancomycin.
267 patients were included; 14% (38/267) received nafcillin or cefazolin, 51% (135/267) received both vancomycin and either nafcillin or cefazolin, and 35% (94/267) received vancomycin. Thirty (11%) died within 30 days. Those receiving nafcillin or cefazolin had 79% lower mortality hazards compared with those who received vancomycin alone (adjusted hazard ratio (HR): 0.21; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.09, 0.47). Among the 122 patients who initially received vancomycin empirically, those who were switched to nafcillin or cefazolin (66/122) had 69% lower mortality hazards (adjusted HR: 0.31; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.95) compared to those who remained on vancomycin.
Receipt of nafcillin or cefazolin was protective against mortality compared to vancomycin even when therapy was altered after culture results identified MSSA. Convenience of vancomycin dosing may not outweigh the potential benefits of nafcillin or cefazolin in the treatment of MSSA bacteremia.
PMCID: PMC3206863  PMID: 22011388
15.  In vitro effects of beta-lactams combined with beta-lactamase inhibitors against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. 
The effects of combinations of beta-lactams with two beta-lactamase inhibitors, sulbactam and clavulanic acid, were determined in vitro against 22 clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Combinations of cefpirome, cefotaxime, and cefazolin with sulbactam (10 micrograms/ml) showed synergistic effects against more than 70% of the strains. Combinations of methicillin and penicillin G with sulbactam also showed synergistic effects against 50 and 68% of the strains, respectively, while cefotiam, moxalactam, flomoxef, and cefmetazole in combination with sulbactam showed such effects against only 40% or fewer. Clavulanic acid was synergistic only when combined with penicillin G, the effect probably being due to the beta-lactamase inhibition by the inhibitor. Sulbactam did not improve the antimicrobial activities of the beta-lactams against methicillin-susceptible S. aureus strains. At 42 degrees C the MICs of cefotaxime, methicillin, and flomoxef alone were markedly decreased from the values at 35 degrees C, and no synergy between these beta-lactams and sulbactam appeared. The resistance to penicillin G was not inhibited by incubation at 42 degrees C, and combinations of penicillin G with sulbactam and clavulanic acid showed synergy. The amounts of beta-lactamase produced were not related to the decreases in the MICs of the beta-lactams, except for penicillin G combined with sulbactam. Clavulanic acid showed slightly stronger beta-lactamase-inhibiting activity than sulbactam did. These results suggest that the synergy between sulbactam and the beta-lactams, except for penicillin G, may not be due to beta-lactamase inhibition but to suppression of the methicillin-resistant S. aureus-specific resistance based on other factors.
PMCID: PMC171488  PMID: 2786369
16.  Activity of cephalosporins against methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant, coagulase-negative staphylococci: minimal effect of beta-lactamase. 
Eight cephalosporins were tested for their activity against methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant, coagulase-negative staphylococci and for their resistance to beta-lactamase from methicillin-resistant, coagulase-negative staphylococci. Susceptibility testing by the agar plate method was evaluated for the effect of inoculum size and duration of incubation. Methicillin-susceptible, coagulase-negative staphylococci were highly susceptible to the cephalosporins, with cephapirin and cepahlothin showing the greatest activity, followed by cefazolin and cefamandole. Methicillin-resistant, coagulase-negative staphylococci displayed nearly total cross-resistance to the cephalosporins. Resistance increased with increasing inoculum size. Beta-Lactamases produced by methicillin-resistant, coagulase-negative staphylococci had a minimal hydrolytic effect on cepahlothin, cephapirin, cefazolin, and cefamandole and no measurable effect on cefoxitin. There was no correlation between the anti-staphylococcal activity and resistance to beta-lactamases.
PMCID: PMC283754  PMID: 6966906
17.  Pharmacodynamics of the Antibacterial Effect and Emergence of Resistance to Tomopenem, Formerly RO4908463/CS-023, in an In Vitro Pharmacokinetic Model of Staphylococcus aureus Infection▿  
The antibacterial effects (ABE) of tomopenem (formerly RO4908463/CS-023) against seven Staphylococcus aureus strains (methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA] strain tomopenem MICs, 0.5 to 16 mg/liter; methicillin-sensitive S. aureus [MSSA] strain tomopenem MIC, 0.06 mg/liter) were studied in an in vitro pharmacokinetic model. Initially, two human doses were simulated, 750 mg every 8 hours (8hly) and 1,500 mg 8hly intravenously, using S. aureus at a standard inoculum of 106 CFU/ml. There was a rapid clearance of bacteria from the model by 12 h after drug exposure with most strains. Clearance was not related to the tomopenem MIC. The ABE of these two tomopenem dose regimens were also tested at a high inoculum, 108 CFU/ml; in all simulations, there was a >4-log drop in viable count at 24 h. Strains were not cleared from the model at 108 CFU/ml, in contrast to what was seen for the standard inoculum. When the ABE of tomopenem at 750 mg 8hly was compared to those of vancomycin, tomopenem was seen to have a superior effect, as measured by the area under the bacterial kill curve at 24 h (AUBKC24) and 48 h (P < 0.05). Dose ranging studies were performed to provide time-above-MIC (T>MIC) drug exposures of 0 to 100% (8 to 10 doses per strain) with five MRSA/MSSA strains. The T>MIC for a 24-h bacteriostatic effect was 8% ± 5% (range, 1.3% to 15.4%); the T>MIC for a 4-log drop in viable count was 32% ± 18% (range, 12.8% to 36.2%). The T>MIC for a 90% maximum response using AUBKC24 as ABE was 24.9% ± 15.7%. Inoculum had little impact on T>MIC exposures for ABE. There was emergence of resistance to tomopenem in the dose ranging studies, with increased growth of subpopulations on plates containing tomopenem at 2× and 4× the MIC compared to what was seen for preexposure population analysis at T>MICs of <20%. The pharmacodynamics of tomopenem against S. aureus is similar to those of other members of the carbapenem class, with the exception that MRSA is included. These data indicate that tomopenem will have clinically useful activity against MRSA at T>MICs achievable in humans.
PMCID: PMC2292562  PMID: 18227179
18.  Low level ß-lactamase production in methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus strains with ß-lactam antibiotics-induced vancomycin resistance 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:69.
A class of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) shows resistance to vancomycin only in the presence of ß-lactam antibiotics (BIVR). This type of vancomycin resistance is mainly attributable to the rapid depletion of free vancomycin in the presence of ß-lactam antibiotics. This means that ß-lactam antibiotics remain active or intact in BIVR culture, although most MRSA cells are assumed to produce ß-lactamase. We hypothesised that the BIVR cells either did not harbour the ß-lactamase gene, blaZ, or the gene was quiescent. We tested this hypothesis by determining ß-lactamase activity and conducting PCR amplification of blaZ.
Five randomly selected laboratory stock BIVR strains showed an undetectable level of ß-lactamase activity and were blaZ-negative. Five non-BIVR stock strains showed an average ß-lactamase activity of 2.59 ± 0.35 U. To test freshly isolated MRSA, 353 clinical isolates were collected from 11 regionally distant hospitals. Among 25 BIVR strains, only 16% and 8% were blaZ positive and ß-lactamase-positive, respectively. In contrast, 95% and 61% of 328 non-BIVR strains had the blaZ gene and produced active ß-lactamase, respectively. To know the mechanism of low ß-lactamase activity in the BIVR cells, they were transformed with the plasmid carrying the blaZ gene. The transformants still showed a low level of ß-lactamase activity that was several orders of magnitude lower than that of blaZ-positive non-BIVR cells. Presence of the ß-lactamase gene in the transformants was tested by PCR amplification of blaZ using 11 pairs of primers covering the entire blaZ sequence. Yield of the PCR products was consistently low compared with that using blaZ-positive non-BIVR cells. Nucleotide sequencing of blaZ in one of the BIVR transformants revealed 10 amino acid substitutions. Thus, it is likely that the ß-lactamase gene was modified in the BIVR cells to downregulate active ß-lactamase production.
We concluded that BIVR cells gain vancomycin resistance by the elimination or inactivation of ß-lactamase production, thereby preserving ß-lactam antibiotics in milieu, stimulating peptidoglycan metabolism, and depleting free vancomycin to a level below the minimum inhibitory concentration of vancomycin.
PMCID: PMC3424166  PMID: 22568976
Antibiotic resistance; ß-lactam; Vancomycin; Staphylococcus aureus; ß-lactamase; MRSA
19.  Phenotypic Resistance of Staphylococcus aureus, Selected Enterobacteriaceae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa after Single and Multiple In Vitro Exposures to Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, and Trovafloxacin 
The phenotypic resistance of selected organisms to ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and trovafloxacin was defined as a MIC of ≥4 μg/ml. The dynamics of resistance were studied after single and sequential drug exposures: clinical isolates of methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA and MRSA), Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, Serratia marcescens, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were utilized. After a single 48-h exposure of a large inoculum to four times the initial MIC for the organism, the frequency of selection of resistant mutants of MSSA was greater for trovafloxacin than levofloxacin (P = 0.008); for E. cloacae, the frequency was highest for ciprofloxacin and lowest for levofloxacin and trovafloxacin; for S. marcescens, the frequency was highest for trovafloxacin and lowest for ciprofloxacin (P = 0.003). The results of serial passage experiments were analyzed both by the Kaplan-Meier product-limited method as well as by analysis of variance of mean inhibitory values. By both methods, MSSA and MRSA expressed mutants resistant to ciprofloxacin after fewer passages than were required for either levofloxacin or trovafloxacin. For the aerobic gram-negative bacilli, two general patterns emerged. Mutants resistant to trovafloxacin appeared sooner and reached higher mean MICs than did mutants resistant to levofloxacin or ciprofloxacin. Mutants resistant to ciprofloxacin appeared later and reached mean MICs lower than the MICs of the other two drugs studied. Even though individual strain variation occurred, the mean MICs were reproduced when the serial passage experiment was repeated using an identical panel of E. coli isolates. In summary, the dynamic selection of fluoroquinolone-resistant bacteria can be demonstrated in experiments that employ serial passage of bacteria in vitro.
PMCID: PMC90388  PMID: 11181375
20.  In Vivo Activity of Ceftobiprole in Murine Skin Infections Due to Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa▿  
Ceftobiprole, a broad-spectrum cephalosporin with activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (P. Hebeisen et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 45:825-836, 2001), was evaluated in a subcutaneous skin infection model with Staphylococcus aureus Smith OC 4172 (methicillin-susceptible S. aureus [MSSA]), S. aureus OC 8525 (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa OC 4351 (having an inducible AmpC β-lactamase), and P. aeruginosa OC 4354 (overproducing AmpC β-lactamase). In the MSSA and MRSA infection models, ceftobiprole, administered as the prodrug ceftobiprole medocaril, was more effective in reducing CFU/g skin (P < 0.001) than were cefazolin, vancomycin, or linezolid based on the dose-response profiles. Skin lesion volumes in MSSA-infected animals treated with ceftobiprole were 19 to 29% lower than those for cefazolin-, vancomycin-, or linezolid-treated animals (P < 0.001). In MRSA infections, lesion size in ceftobiprole-treated mice was 34% less than that with cefazolin or linezolid treatment (P < 0.001). Against P. aeruginosa, ceftobiprole at similar doses was as effective as meropenem-cilastatin in reductions of CFU/g skin, despite 8- and 32-fold-lower MICs for meropenem; both treatments were more effective than was cefepime (P < 0.001) against the inducible and overproducing AmpC β-lactamase strains of P. aeruginosa. Ceftobiprole was similar to meropenem-cilastatin and 47 to 54% more effective than cefepime (P < 0.01) in reducing the size of the lesion caused by either strain of P. aeruginosa in this study. These studies indicate that ceftobiprole is effective in reducing both bacterial load and lesion volume associated with infections due to MSSA, MRSA, and P. aeruginosa in this murine model of skin and soft tissue infection.
PMCID: PMC2798551  PMID: 19884364
21.  Polyclonal Diffusion of Beta-Lactamase-Producing Enterococcus faecium 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(1):169-172.
We describe here the isolation of 8 beta-lactamase-producing multidrug-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolates in 2010. All strains showed diverse pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles, all belonging to the same clonal complex, CC17. By PCR and hybridization experiments, the entire blaZ-blaI-blaR1 operon was found. The beta-lactamase activity was demonstrated at a high inoculum and in the presence of methicillin after overnight incubation.
PMCID: PMC3256721  PMID: 22075588
22.  High Percentage of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates with Reduced Susceptibility to Glycopeptides in The Netherlands 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2003;41(6):2487-2491.
While testing the in vitro activities of 14 antimicrobial agents against 107 methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and 250 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates collected in The Netherlands, we found to our surprise that 19 (7.6%) MRSA isolates were suspected of having reduced susceptibilities to the glycopeptides when the Etest system (AB Biodisk, Solna, Sweden) was used with a large inoculum (no. 2 McFarland standard) and an extended incubation time (48 h) on brain heart infusion agar for MIC testing. Eventually, 15 of these isolates were classified as heterogeneously resistant to glycopeptides (heterogeneously glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus [hGISA] isolates) according to the population analysis profile-area under the curve analysis. The MICs at which 50 and 90% of isolates are inhibited obtained with the Etest system with the large inoculum were as follows: for MSSA isolates, 3.0 and 4.0 μg/ml, respectively, for both teicoplanin and vancomycin; for MRSA isolates, 3.0 and 8.0 μg/ml, respectively, for teicoplanin, and 3.0 and 4.0 μg/ml, respectively, for vancomycin. This is the first report of hGISA isolates in The Netherlands.
PMCID: PMC156556  PMID: 12791870
23.  Production of low-affinity penicillin-binding protein by low- and high-resistance groups of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. 
Methicillin- and cephem-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (137 strains) for which the cefazolin MICs are at least 25 micrograms/ml could be classified into low-resistance (83% of strains) and high-resistance (the remaining 17%) groups by the MIC of flomoxef (6315-S), a 1-oxacephalosporin. The MICs were less than 6.3 micrograms/ml and more than 12.5 micrograms/ml in the low- and high-resistance groups, respectively. All strains produced penicillin-binding protein 2' (PBP 2'), which has been associated with methicillin resistance and which has very low affinity for beta-lactam antibiotics. Production of PBP 2' was regulated differently in low- and high-resistance strains. With penicillinase-producing strains of the low-resistance group, cefazolin, cefamandole, and cefmetazole induced PBP 2' production about 5-fold, while flomoxef induced production 2.4-fold or less. In contrast, penicillinase-negative variants of low-resistance strains produced PBP 2' constitutively in large amounts and induction did not occur. With high-resistance strains, flomoxef induced PBP 2' to an extent similar to that of cefazolin in both penicillinase-producing and -negative strains, except for one strain in which the induction did not occur. The amount of PBP 2' induced by beta-lactam antibiotics in penicillinase-producing strains of the low-resistance group correlated well with resistance to each antibiotic. Large amounts of PBP 2' in penicillinase-negative variants of the low-resistance group did not raise the MICs of beta-lactam compounds, although these strains were more resistant when challenged with flomoxef for 2 h. Different regulation of PBP 2' production was demonstrated in the high- and low-resistance groups, and factor(s) other than PBP 2' were suggested to be involved in the methicillin resistance of high-resistance strains.
PMCID: PMC174932  PMID: 3499861
24.  Characterization of a Chromosomal Gene Encoding Type B β-Lactamase in Phage Group II Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1998;42(12):3163-3168.
In contrast to most Staphylococcus aureus isolates in which the gene for staphylococcal β-lactamase (blaZ) is plasmid borne, isolates typeable by group II bacteriophages frequently carry blaZ on the chromosome. Furthermore, the chromosomal gene encodes the type B variant of staphylococcal β-lactamase for which the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences have not yet been reported. To better understand β-lactamase production among phage group II staphylococci and the nature of the type B β-lactamase, we determined the type and amount of enzyme produced by 24 phage group II isolates. Of these isolates, 1 did not produce β-lactamase, 8 produced the type B enzyme, and 15 produced the type C enzyme. In all eight type B β-lactamase-producing isolates, blaZ was located on the chromosome. This was in contrast to the type C β-lactamase-producing isolates, in which blaZ was located on a 21-kb plasmid. The nucleotide sequence corresponding to the leader peptide and the N-terminal 85% of the mature exoenzyme form of type B S. aureus was determined. The deduced amino acid sequence revealed 3 residues in the leader peptide and 12 residues in the exoenzyme portion of the β-lactamase that differ from the prototypic type A β-lactamase sequence. These include the serine-to-asparagine change at residue 216 found in the kinetically similar type C enzyme, a threonine-to-lysine change at residue 128 close to the SDN loop (residues 130 to 132), and several substitutions not found in any of the other staphylococcal β-lactamases. In summary, modern isolates of S. aureus typeable by group II phages produce type B or type C staphylococcal β-lactamase. The type B gene resides on the chromosome and has a sequence that, when compared to the sequences of the other staphylococcal β-lactamases, corresponds well with its kinetic properties.
PMCID: PMC106017  PMID: 9835509
25.  Treatment of Experimental Staphylococcus aureus Endocarditis: Comparison of Cephalothin, Cefazolin, and Methicillin 
The effectiveness of cefazolin in Staphylococcus aureus endocarditis has been questioned because of in vitro inactivation by staphylococcal beta-lactamase. Cefazolin, although inactivated in vitro by S. aureus beta-lactamase, was as effective as cephalothin in the treatment of left-sided S. aureus endocarditis in rabbits. Cefazolin (20 mg/kg every 6 or 8 h), cephalothin (40 mg/kg every 6 h), and methicillin (40 mg/kg every 6 h), administered intramuscularly, were compared in the treatment of left-sided endocarditis caused in rabbits by a highly penicillin-resistant strain of S. aureus. The three antibiotics were all effective in reducing titers in vegetations. However, at the dose used, methicillin reduced the titers more rapidly than cephalothin or cefazolin. Cefazolin concentrations in serum were about double those achieved with cephalothin or methicillin. However, cefazolin was only half as active as methicillin and one-eighth as active as cephalothin in vitro in a serum assay. The half life in serum of cefazolin, cephalothin, and methicillin were each about 30 min. Serum bactericidal activities of the three antibiotics were very similar.
PMCID: PMC352187  PMID: 626493

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