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1.  Efficacy of Rifampin and Its Combinations with Imipenem, Sulbactam, and Colistin in Experimental Models of Infection Caused by Imipenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii▿  
There are currently no defined optimal therapies available for multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii infections. We evaluated the efficacy of rifampin, imipenem, sulbactam, colistin, and their combinations against MDR A. baumannii in experimental pneumonia and meningitis models. The bactericidal in vitro activities of rifampin, imipenem, sulbactam, colistin, and their combinations were tested using time-kill curves. Murine pneumonia and rabbit meningitis models were evaluated using the A. baummnnii strain Ab1327 (with MICs for rifampin, imipenem, sulbactam, and colistin of 4, 32, 32, and 0.5 mg/liter, respectively). Mice were treated with the four antimicrobials and their combinations. For the meningitis model, the efficacies of colistin, rifampin and its combinations with imipenem, sulbactam, or colistin, and of imipenem plus sulbactam were assayed. In the pneumonia model, compared to the control group, (i) rifampin alone, (ii) rifampin along with imipenem, sulbactam, or colistin, (iii) colistin, or (iv) imipenem plus sulbactam significantly reduced lung bacterial concentrations (10.6 ± 0.27 [controls] versus 3.05 ± 1.91, 2.07 ± 1.82, 2.41 ± 1.37, 3.4 ± 3.07, 6.82 ± 3.4, and 4.22 ± 2.72 log10 CFU/g, respectively [means ± standard deviations]), increased sterile blood cultures (0% versus 78.6%, 100%, 93.3%, 93.8%, 73.3%, and 50%), and improved survival (0% versus 71.4%, 60%, 46.7%, 43.8%, 40%, and 85.7%). In the meningitis model rifampin alone or rifampin plus colistin reduced cerebrospinal fluid bacterial counts (−2.6 and −4.4 log10 CFU/ml). Rifampin in monotherapy or with imipenem, sulbactam, or colistin showed efficacy against MDR A. baumannii in experimental models of pneumonia and meningitis. Imipenem or sulbactam may be appropriate for combined treatment when using rifampin.
PMCID: PMC2825983  PMID: 20047914
2.  Activities of beta-lactams against Acinetobacter genospecies as determined by agar dilution and E-test MIC methods. 
The agar dilution MIC method was used to test activities of ticarcillin, ticarcillin-clavulanate, amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, ampicillin, ampicillin-sulbactam, piperacillin, piperacillin-tazobactam, inhibitors alone, ceftazidime, and imipenem against 237 Acinetobacter genospecies. A total of 93.2% of strains were beta-lactamase positive by the chromogenic cephalosporin method. Overall, ampicillin-sulbactam was the most active combination against all strains (MIC at which 50% of the isolates are inhibited [MIC50] and MIC90, 4.0 and 32.0 microg/ml; 86.9% susceptible at < or = 16 microg/ml), followed by ticarcillin-clavulanate (16.0 and 128.0 microg/ml; 85.7% susceptible at < or = 64 microg/ml), piperacillin-tazobactam (16.0 and 128.0 microg/ml; 84.8% susceptible at < or = 64 microg/ml), and amoxicillin-clavulanate (16.0 and 64.0 microg/ml; 54.4% susceptible at < or =16 microg/ml). Ceftazidime and imipenem yielded MIC50s and MIC90s of 8.0 and 64.0 microg/ml (ceftazidime) and 0.5 and 1.0 microg/ml (imipenem), respectively; 71.3% of strains were susceptible to ceftazidime at < or = 16 microg/ml, and 99.2% were susceptible to imipenem at < or = 8 microg/ml. Sulbactam was the most active beta-lactamase inhibitor alone (MIC50 and MIC90, 2.0 and 16.0 microg/ml); clavulanate and tazobactam were less active (16.0 and 32.0 microg/ml for both compounds). Enhancement of beta-lactams by beta-lactamase inhibitors was not always seen in beta-lactamase-positive strains, and activity of combinations such as ampicillin-sulbactam was due to the inhibitor alone. Acinetobacter baumannii was the most resistant genospecies. By contrast, Acinetobacter haemolyticus, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Acinetobacter johnsonii, Acinetobacter junii, Acinetobacter radioresistens, and other non-Acinetobacter baumannii strains were more susceptible to all compounds tested. E-test MICs were within 1 dilution of agar dilution MICs in 38.4 to 89.6% of cases and within 2 dilutions in 61.6 to 98.6% of cases.
PMCID: PMC163791  PMID: 9087486
3.  Efficacy of Colistin versus β-Lactams, Aminoglycosides, and Rifampin as Monotherapy in a Mouse Model of Pneumonia Caused by Multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii 
The treatment of life-threatening infections due to carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii has become a serious challenge for physicians worldwide. Often, only colistin shows in general good in vitro activity against these carbapenem-resistant strains, but its antibacterial efficacy in comparison with the antibiotics most used in clinical practice is not well known. We studied the efficacy of colistin versus those of imipenem, sulbactam, tobramycin, and rifampin in an experimental pneumonia model with immunocompetent mice. We used three strains of A. baumannii corresponding to the main clones (A, D, and E) involved in the outbreaks of our hospital, with different grades of resistance to imipenem (imipenem MICs of 1, 8, and 512 μg/ml, respectively) and to the other antibiotics. The MIC of colistin was 0.5 μg/ml for the three strains. Reduction of log10 CFU/g in lung bacterial counts, clearance of bacteremia, and survival versus results with controls were used as parameters of efficacy. Imipenem and sulbactam (Δlung counts: −5.38 and −4.64 log10 CFU/ml) showed the highest level of bactericidal efficacy in infections by susceptible and even intermediate strains. Tobramycin and rifampin (−4.16 and −5.15 log10 CFU/ml) provided good results against intermediate or moderately resistant strains, in agreement with killing curves and pharmacodynamics. On the contrary, colistin showed the weakest antibacterial effect among the antibiotics tested, both in killing curves and in the in vivo model (−2.39 log10 CFU/ml; P < 0.05). We conclude that colistin did not appear as a good option for treatment of patients with pneumonia due to carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii strains. Other alternatives, including combinations with rifampin, may offer better therapeutic profiles and thus should be studied.
PMCID: PMC127272  PMID: 12019113
4.  In Vitro Activities of the β-Lactamase Inhibitors Clavulanic Acid, Sulbactam, and Tazobactam Alone or in Combination with β-Lactams against Epidemiologically Characterized Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Strains 
Acinetobacter baumannii is an important nosocomial pathogen usually in the context of serious underlying disease. Multidrug resistance in these organisms is frequent. The β-lactamase inhibitors clavulanic acid, sulbactam, and tazobactam have intrinsic activity against Acinetobacter strains. To evaluate their potential therapeutic usefulness, we determined the in vitro activity of ampicillin, sulbactam, ampicillin-sulbactam, cefoperazone, cefoperazone-sulbactam, piperacillin, piperacillin-sulbactam, tazobactam, piperacillin-tazobactam, amoxicillin, clavulanic acid, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ticarcillin, and ticarcillin-clavulanic acid against multidrug-resistant A. baumannii. All isolates were epidemiologically characterized by RAPD [random(ly) amplified polymorphic DNA] analysis and/or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and represented different strain types, including sporadic strains, as well as outbreak-related strains. The MICs were determined by agar dilution on Mueller-Hinton agar (using fixed concentrations, as well as fixed ratios for β-lactamase inhibitors) and the E-test. The majority of E-test results were within two dilutions of those recorded by agar dilution, with the exception of piperacillin-tazobactam. Sulbactam was superior to clavulanic acid and tazobactam and may represent an alternative treatment option for infections due to multiresistant A. baumannii strains. β-Lactamase inhibitors have intrinsic activity but do not enhance activity of β-lactams against A. baumannii. Testing with the inhibitor added at a fixed concentration as recommended for piperacillin-tazobactam and ticarcillin-clavulanic acid by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards may falsely suggest high activity or gives uninterpretable results due to trailing. If combinations are used for testing, fixed ratios may give more useful results.
PMCID: PMC400525  PMID: 15105109
5.  Activities and Time-Kill Studies of Selected Penicillins, β-Lactamase Inhibitor Combinations, and Glycopeptides against Enterococcus faecalis 
The activities of piperacillin, piperacillin-tazobactam, ticarcillin, ticarcillin-clavulanate, ampicillin, ampicillin-sulbactam, vancomycin, and teicoplanin were tested against 212 Enterococcus faecalis strains (9 β-lactamase producers) by standard agar dilution MIC testing (104 CFU/spot). The MICs at which 50 and 90% of the isolates were inhibited (MIC50s and MIC90s, respectively) were as follows (μg/ml): piperacillin, 4 and 8; piperacillin-tazobactam, 4 and 8; ticarcillin, 64 and 128; ticarcillin-clavulanate, 64 and 128; ampicillin, 2 and 2; ampicillin-sulbactam, 1 and 2; vancomycin, 1 and 4; and teicoplanin, 0.5 and 1. Agar dilution MIC testing of the nine β-lactamase-positive strains with an inoculum of 106 CFU/spot revealed higher β-lactam MICs (piperacillin, 64 to >256 μg/ml; ticarcillin, 128 to >256 μg/ml; and ampicillin, 16 to 128 μg/ml); however, MICs with the addition of inhibitors were similar to those obtained with the lower inoculum. Time-kill studies of 15 strains showed that piperacillin-tazobactam was bactericidal (99.9% killing) for 14 strains after 24 h at four times the MIC, with 90% killing of all 15 strains at two times the MIC. After 12 and 6 h, 90% killing of 14 and 13 strains, respectively, was found at two times the MIC. Ampicillin gave 99.9% killing of 14 β-lactamase-negative strains after 24 h at eight times the MIC, with 90% killing of all 15 strains at two times the MIC. After 12 and 6 h, 90% killing of 14 and 13 strains, respectively, was found at two times the MIC. Killing by ticarcillin-clavulanate was slower than that observed for piperacillin-tazobactam, relative to the MIC. For the one β-lactamase-producing strain tested by time-kill analysis with a higher inoculum, addition of the three inhibitors (including sulbactam) to each of the β-lactams resulted in bactericidal activity at 24 h at two times the MIC. For an enzyme-negative strain, addition of inhibitors did not influence kinetics. Kinetics of vancomycin and teicoplanin were significantly slower than those of the β-lactams, with bactericidal activity against 6 strains after 24 h at eight times the MIC, with 90% killing of 12 and 14 strains, respectively, at four times the MIC. Slower-kill kinetics by both glycopeptides were observed at earlier periods.
PMCID: PMC105555  PMID: 9559796
6.  Beta-lactamase production in members of the family Enterobacteriaceae and resistance to beta-lactam-enzyme inhibitor combinations. 
Recent reports that members of the family Enterobacteriaceae that produce high levels of certain beta-lactamases are often resistant to ticarcillin-clavulanate prompted this study to assess the relationship between type and amount of enzyme produced and susceptibility to ticarcillin-clavulanate, piperacillin-tazobactam, and cefoperazone-sulbactam. Agar dilution MICs were determined by using 73 strains of Enterobacteriaceae that produced a single beta-lactamase that had been characterized and quantified and a beta-lactamase-negative control strain of Escherichia coli. For E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, MICs of each combination increased as levels of TEM, SHV-1, or class IV enzymes increased. However, the percentage of strains that were resistant was highest for ticarcillin-clavulanate (32%), with only 18 and 6% resistant to piperacillin-tazobactam and cefoperazone-sulbactam, respectively. Strains producing PSE-1, regardless of level, were resistant or moderately susceptible to ticarcillin-clavulanate but were susceptible to piperacillin-tazobactam and cefoperazone-sulbactam. HMS-1 and OHIO-1 beta-lactamases were associated with resistance to ticarcillin-clavulanate and piperacillin-tazobactam, respectively. High levels of class IV enzymes in Klebsiella oxytoca were associated with resistance to all three combinations. These results indicate that the level and type of beta-lactamase produced by members of the family Enterobacteriaceae are important determinants of susceptibility to beta-lactam-inhibitor combinations, especially ticarcillin-clavulanate.
PMCID: PMC171654  PMID: 2344169
7.  Comparison of the bactericidal activities of piperacillin-tazobactam, ticarcillin-clavulanate, and ampicillin-sulbactam against clinical isolates of Bacteroides fragilis, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 
Owing to the broad spectrum of activity afforded by beta-lactam-beta-lactamase inhibitor preparations, these agents are frequently selected as empiric therapy for the treatment of mixed infections such as intra-abdominal and diabetic foot infections, either alone or in combination with an aminoglycoside. Twelve healthy volunteers were enrolled in a randomized, open-label, four-way crossover trial comparing the bactericidal activities of piperacillin-tazobactam, ticarcillin-clavulanate, and ampicillin-sulbactam against microorganisms commonly isolated from mixed infections. Subjects received the following regimes: (i) 3.375 g of piperacillin-tazobactam intravenously (i.v.) every 6 h (q6h) (ii) 4.5 g of piperacillin-tazobactam i.v. q8h, (iii) 3.1 g of ticarcillin-clavulanate i.v. q6h, and (iv) 3.0 g of ampicillin-sulbactam i.v. q6h. Serum bactericidal titers were determined and used to calculate the duration of measurable bactericidal activity over the dosing interval of each of the regimens against two clinical isolates of Bacillus fragilis, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The percentage of the dosing interval over which drug concentrations in serum remained above the MIC for each organism was determined and compared with the observed duration of bactericidal activity was noted (r = 0.78; P < 0.001). All of the regimens demonstrated good activity against B. fragilis and E. coli. Against E. faecalis and P. aeruginosa, however, all of the regimens provided bactericidal activity for less than 50% of the respective dosing intervals. These data suggest that use of shorter dosing intervals or continuous-infusion regimens should be considered in combination with an aminoglycoside to improve the bactericidal profiles of these agents for E. faecalis and P. aeruginosa.
PMCID: PMC163725  PMID: 9021203
8.  Comparative in vitro and in vivo activities of piperacillin combined with the beta-lactamase inhibitors tazobactam, clavulanic acid, and sulbactam. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1989;33(11):1964-1969.
Tazobactam (YTR-830H), a novel beta-lactamase inhibitor, was compared with clavulanic acid and sulbactam for enhancement of the activity of piperacillin against beta-lactamase-producing, piperacillin-resistant clinical isolates. Piperacillin MICs were determined in media containing a fixed concentration of 2 or 4 micrograms of the inhibitors per ml. The higher concentration was generally more effective. Tazobactam was superior to sulbactam in enhancing the spectrum and potency of piperacillin. Although the calvulanic acid combination was more potent, tazobactam was effective for a similar spectrum of resistant gram-negative clinical isolates containing beta-lactamase. MICs were reduced to the susceptible range for Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus spp., Salmonella spp., and Shigella spp. Combinations with tazobactam and sulbactam, but not clavulanic acid, were effective against Morganella spp. Some antagonism of the activity of piperacillin was observed with clavulanic acid but not with tazobactam or sulbactam. The inhibitors were similarly effective with piperacillin against beta-lactamase-positive Staphylococcus spp. and the Bacteroides fragilis group. Piperacillin-tazobactam was more effective against a broader spectrum of gram-negative enteric bacteria than ticarcillin plus clavulanic acid was. Combinations with tazobactam or clavulanic acid had a broader spectrum of activity than combinations with sulbactam against bacteria that produce characterized plasmid-mediated enzymes of clinical significance. In particular, piperacillin with tazobactam or clavulanic acid, but not with sulbactam, inhibited TEM-1, TEM-2, and SHV-1 enzymes. In vitro activity was reflected in vivo. Tazobactam and clavulanic acid were superior to sulbactam in enhancing the therapeutic efficacy of piperacillin in mice infected with beta-lactamase-positive E. coli, K. pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, and Staphylococcus aureus. Only combinations with tazobactam and sulbactam were effective against the Morganella infection. Tazobactam has a good potential for enhancing the clinical efficacy of piperacillin.
PMCID: PMC172796  PMID: 2558615
9.  Comparative in vitro antimicrobial susceptibilities of nosocomial isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii and synergistic activities of nine antimicrobial combinations. 
The in vitro susceptibilities of 69 nosocomial Acinetobacter isolates were determined by the broth microdilution method. Fourteen (20%) isolates were resistant to at least two aminoglycosides and two extended-spectrum penicillins. Nine antimicrobial combinations were then tested for synergy against these 14 isolates by checkerboard titration: imipenem with ciprofloxacin, amikacin, and tobramycin and ampicillin-sulbactam, piperacillin-tazobactam, and ticarcillin-clavulanate with amikacin and tobramycin. Synergy was detected with one or more antimicrobial combinations against 9 of 14 (64%) isolates, partial synergy was detected with one or more combinations against all 14 isolates, and an additive effect alone was observed with two different combinations against two isolates. No antagonism was detected with any combination. Imipenem plus either amikacin or tobramycin resulted in a synergistic or partial synergistic response against all 14 isolates. Specific combinations showing synergy against A. baumannii isolates were imipenem with tobramycin (four isolates), imipenem with amikacin (three isolates), ampicillin-sulbactam with tobramycin (six isolates), ampicillin-sulbactam with amikacin (three isolates), and ticarcillin-clavulanate with tobramycin (one isolate). Genotyping by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis showed that 9 of the 14 isolates were of one strain, 4 isolates were of a second strain, and the remaining isolate was of a different strain. Eight of 14 (57%) patients infected with resistant A. baumannii isolates died. Only 3 of 14 patients had received a therapeutic regimen which was tested for synergy. Clinical studies are needed to determine the significance of these findings.
PMCID: PMC163819  PMID: 9145838
10.  Ampicillin-sulbactam is effective in prevention and therapy of experimental endocarditis caused by beta-lactamase-producing coagulase-negative staphylococci. 
Optimal strategies for the prophylaxis and therapy of endocarditis caused by oxacillin-resistant, coagulase-negative staphylococci in patients with native or prosthetic valvular heart disease are not well defined. We compared the in vivo efficacies of ampicillin-sulbactam-based regimens with those of vancomycin-based oxacillin-resistant, beta-lactamase-producing coagulase-negative staphylococcal isolate (Staphylococcus haemolyticus SE220). Ampicillin-sulbactam (100 and 20 mg/kg of body weight, respectively, given intramuscularly in a two-dose regimen) was equivalent to vancomycin (30 mg/kg given intravenously in a two-dose regimen) in its prophylactic efficacy against the coagulase-negative staphylococcal strain (93 and 80%, respectively). The combination of ampicillin-sulbactam plus either rifampin or vancomycin did not enhance the prophylactic efficacy compared with that of ampicillin-sulbactam or vancomycin alone. In the therapy of established aortic valve endocarditis in rabbits caused by this same coagulase-negative staphylococcal strain, animals received 7-day ampicillin-sulbactam-based or vancomycin-based regimens with or without rifampin. All treatment regimens were effective at lowering intravegetation coagulase-negative staphylococcal densities and rendering vegetations culture negative compared with the coagulase-negative staphylococcal densities and vegetations of untreated controls, with ampicillin-sulbactam in combination with rifampin or vancomycin being the most active regimen. However, only the regimen of ampicillin-sulbactam in combination with vancomycin effectively prevented relapse of endocarditis posttherapy after a 5-day antibiotic-free period. For animals receiving rifampin-containing regimens, relapses of endocarditis were associated with the in vivo development of rifampin resistance among coagulase-negative staphylococcal isolates in the vegetation. Ampicillin-sulbactam was highly effective in the prevention of experimental endocarditis caused by a beta-lactamase-producing, oxacillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococcal strain. Ampicillin-sulbactam was also efficacious for the therapy of coagulase-negative staphylococcal endocarditis, especially when it was combined with vancomycin to prevent posttherapeutic relapses.
PMCID: PMC163064  PMID: 8787887
11.  OXA-24, a Novel Class D β-Lactamase with Carbapenemase Activity in an Acinetobacter baumannii Clinical Strain 
Acinetobacter baumannii RYC 52763/97, a clinical isolate involved in a prolonged nosocomial outbreak at our hospital, was resistant to all β-lactams tested, including imipenem and meropenem, which had MICs of 128 and 256 μg/ml, respectively. This strain synthesized three β-lactamases: a plasmid-mediated TEM-1 β-lactamase (pI 5.4), an AmpC-type chromosomal cephalosporinase (pI 9.4), and a novel, presumptively chromosomally mediated OXA-related enzyme (pI 9.0) named OXA-24. After cloning and sequencing, the deduced amino acid sequence of the OXA-24 β-lactamase showed 40% homology with the OXA-10 (PSE-2) and OXA-7 β-lactamases, 39% homology with the OXA-11 and OXA-5 enzymes, and 33% homology with the LCR-1 β-lactamase. The amino acid sequence of the OXA-24 β-lactamase contained the STFK motif found in serine β-lactamases, but the typical class D triad KTG was replaced by KSG and the motif YGN was replaced by FGN. The OXA-24 β-lactamase hydrolyzed benzylpenicillin and cephaloridine but lacked activity against oxacillin, cloxacillin, and methicillin. The enzymatic activity was inhibited by chloride ions and by tazobactam (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50], 0.5 μM), sulbactam (IC50, 40 μM), and clavulanic acid (IC50, 50 μM). Carbapenem MICs for an Escherichia coli transformant (pBMB-1) expressing the cloned OXA-24 enzyme had a fourfold increase. Relative Vmax/Km values of 13 and 6 were obtained with imipenem and meropenem, respectively, and a positive microbiological assay result with imipenem was obtained with a purified enzymatic extract of this transformant strain. Therefore, we consider this new β-lactamase to be involved in the carbapenem resistance of A. baumannii RYC 52763/97.
PMCID: PMC89912  PMID: 10817708
12.  In vitro activities of beta-lactam-beta-lactamase inhibitor combinations against Stenotrophomonas maltophilia: correlation between methods for testing inhibitory activity, time-kill curves, and bactericidal activity. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1997;41(12):2612-2615.
The activities of ampicillin, ampicillin-sulbactam, amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ticarcillin, ticarcillin-clavulanic acid, piperacillin, piperacillin-tazobactam, aztreonam, and aztreonam-clavulanic against Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strains for which the MICs of penicillins and commercially available beta-lactam-beta-lactamase inhibitor combinations were higher than the breakpoints usually recommended for Pseudomonas aeruginosa in commercially available broth microdilution methods were tested by the agar diffusion, agar dilution, and broth microdilution methods. Time-kill curve studies were performed when discrepancies between these methods were observed. The MICs obtained by the commercially available broth microdilution method, the agar dilution method, and the broth microdilution method were almost identical. Twenty-five percent of the strains tested showed inhibition diameters of > or =15 mm for ticarcillin-clavulanic acid, and 43.7% of the strains tested showed inhibition diameters of > or =18 mm for piperacillin-tazobactam by the agar diffusion method. The time-kill curves for these strains confirmed the results obtained by dilution methods. Aztreonam-clavulanic acid (2:1) at concentrations of < or =16 microg/ml inhibited all of these strains (MIC range, 1 to 16 microg/ml). The time-kill curves confirmed this activity. The addition of piperacillin to this combination did not modify the MICs. The combination aztreonam-clavulanic acid-ticarcillin was two- to fourfold more active than aztreonam-clavulanic acid alone. We studied the inhibitory and bactericidal activities of the two most active combinations (aztreonam-clavulanic acid and aztreonam-clavulanic acid-ticarcillin) against the standard inoculum and 10 and 50 times the standard inoculum. Inoculum modifications did not modify the MICs. Both combinations showed good bactericidal activity against the standard inoculum. With 10 times the standard inoculum, minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) results were heterogeneous (for 55% of the strains, MBCs were between the MIC and 4-fold the MIC, and for 45% of the strains MBCs were between 8- and >32-fold the MIC). With 50 times the standard inoculum, MBCs were at least 32-fold the MICs for all the strains tested.
PMCID: PMC164178  PMID: 9420028
13.  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
14.  Early Insights into the Interactions of Different β-Lactam Antibiotics and β-Lactamase Inhibitors against Soluble Forms of Acinetobacter baumannii PBP1a and Acinetobacter sp. PBP3 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2012;56(11):5687-5692.
Acinetobacter baumannii is an increasingly problematic pathogen in United States hospitals. Antibiotics that can treat A. baumannii are becoming more limited. Little is known about the contributions of penicillin binding proteins (PBPs), the target of β-lactam antibiotics, to β-lactam–sulbactam susceptibility and β-lactam resistance in A. baumannii. Decreased expression of PBPs as well as loss of binding of β-lactams to PBPs was previously shown to promote β-lactam resistance in A. baumannii. Using an in vitro assay with a reporter β-lactam, Bocillin, we determined that the 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) for PBP1a from A. baumannii and PBP3 from Acinetobacter sp. ranged from 1 to 5 μM for a series of β-lactams. In contrast, PBP3 demonstrated a narrower range of IC50s against β-lactamase inhibitors than PBP1a (ranges, 4 to 5 versus 8 to 144 μM, respectively). A molecular model with ampicillin and sulbactam positioned in the active site of PBP3 reveals that both compounds interact similarly with residues Thr526, Thr528, and Ser390. Accepting that many interactions with cell wall targets are possible with the ampicillin-sulbactam combination, the low IC50s of ampicillin and sulbactam for PBP3 may contribute to understanding why this combination is effective against A. baumannii. Unraveling the contribution of PBPs to β-lactam susceptibility and resistance brings us one step closer to identifying which PBPs are the best targets for novel β-lactams.
PMCID: PMC3486531  PMID: 22908165
15.  Synergy of Daptomycin with Oxacillin and Other β-Lactams against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
We previously observed marked synergy between daptomycin and both rifampin and ampicillin against vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Because the synergy between daptomycin and ampicillin was observed for 100% of VRE strains with high-level ampicillin resistance (ampicillin MIC of ≥128 μg/ml), we looked for synergy between daptomycin and other β-lactams against 18 strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by employing a time-kill method using Mueller-Hinton broth supplemented to 50 mg of Ca2+/liter. All strains were resistant to oxacillin (16 of 18 strains were resistant at drug concentrations of ≥256 μg/ml), and all strains were susceptible to daptomycin (the MIC at which 90% of the tested isolates were inhibited was 1 μg/ml). Daptomycin was tested at concentrations of 2, 1, 0.5, 0.25, 0.125, and 0.0625 μg/ml alone or in combination with oxacillin at a fixed concentration of 32 μg/ml. Synergy was found for all 18 strains with daptomycin at one-half the MIC in combination with 32 μg of oxacillin/ml, and synergy was found for 11 of 18 strains (61%) with daptomycin at one-fourth the MIC or less in combination with oxacillin. At 24 h, the daptomycin-oxacillin combination with daptomycin at one-half the MIC showed bactericidal activity against all 18 strains, and the combination with one-fourth the daptomycin MIC showed bactericidal activity against 9 of 18 strains. We also used a novel screening method to look for synergy between daptomycin and other β-lactams. In this approach, daptomycin was incorporated into Ca2+-supplemented Mueller-Hinton agar at subinhibitory concentrations, and synergy was screened by comparing test antibiotic Kirby-Bauer disks on agar with and without daptomycin. By this method, daptomycin with ampicillin-sulbactam, ticarcillin-clavulanate, or piperacillin-tazobactam showed synergy comparable to or greater than daptomycin with oxacillin. For seven of the eight strains tested, time-kill studies confirmed synergy between daptomycin and ampicillin-sulbactam with ampicillin in the range of 2 to 8 μg/ml. The combination of daptomycin and β-lactams may be useful for the treatment of MRSA infection, but further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms and to determine the in vivo efficacy of the combination.
PMCID: PMC478518  PMID: 15273094
16.  Beta-lactamase inhibitors from laboratory to clinic. 
Clinical Microbiology Reviews  1988;1(1):109-123.
beta-Lactamases constitute the major defense mechanism of pathogenic bacteria against beta-lactam antibiotics. When the beta-lactam ring of this antibiotic class is hydrolyzed, antimicrobial activity is destroyed. Although beta-lactamases have been identified with clinical failures for over 40 years, enzymes with various abilities to hydrolyze specific penicillins or cephalosporins are appearing more frequently in clinical isolates. One approach to counteracting this resistance mechanism has been through the development of beta-lactamase inactivators. beta-Lactamase inhibitors include clavulanic acid and sulbactam, molecules with minimal antibiotic activity. However, when combined with safe and efficacious penicillins or cephalosporins, these inhibitors can serve to protect the familiar beta-lactam antibiotics from hydrolysis by penicillinases or broad-spectrum beta-lactamases. Both of these molecules eventually inactivate the target enzymes permanently. Although clavulanic acid exhibits more potent inhibitory activity than sulbactam, especially against the TEM-type broad-spectrum beta-lactamases, the spectrum of inhibitory activities are very similar. Neither of these inhibitors acts as a good inhibitor of the cephalosporinases. Clavulanic acid has been most frequently combined with amoxicillin in the orally active Augmentin and with ticarcillin in the parenteral beta-lactam combination Timentin. Sulbactam has been used primarily to protect ampicillin from enzymatic hydrolysis. Sulbactam has been used either in the orally absorbed prodrug form as sultamicillin or as the injectable combination ampicillin-sulbactam. Synergy has been demonstrated for these combinations for most members of the Enterobacteriaceae, although those organisms that produce cephalosporinases are not well inhibited. Synergy has also been observed for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Haemophilus influenzae, penicillinase-producing Staphylococcus aureus, and anaerobic organisms. These antibiotic combinations have been used clinically to treat urinary tract infections, bone and soft-tissue infections, gonorrhea, respiratory infections, and otitis media. Gastrointestinal side effects have been reported for Augmentin and sultamicillin; most side effects with these agents have been mild. Although combination therapy with beta-lactamase inactivators has been used successfully, the problem of resistance development to two agents must be considered. Induction of cephalosporinases can occur with clavulanic acid. Permeability mutants could arise, especially with added pressure from a second beta-lactam.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC358033  PMID: 3060240
17.  Surveillance for Antimicrobial Susceptibility among Clinical Isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii from Hospitalized Patients in the United States, 1998 to 2001 
Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii are the most prevalent nonfermentative bacterial species isolated from clinical specimens of hospitalized patients. A surveillance study of 65 laboratories in the United States from 1998 to 2001 found >90% of isolates of P. aeruginosa from hospitalized patients to be susceptible to amikacin and piperacillin-tazobactam; 80 to 90% of isolates to be susceptible to cefepime, ceftazidime, imipenem, and meropenem; and 70 to 80% of isolates to be susceptible to ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, levofloxacin, and ticarcillin-clavulanate. From 1998 to 2001, decreases in antimicrobial susceptibility (percents) among non-intensive-care-unit (non-ICU) inpatients and ICU patients, respectively, were greatest for ciprofloxacin (6.1 and 6.5), levofloxacin (6.6 and 3.5), and ceftazidime (4.8 and 3.3). Combined 1998 to 2001 results for A. baumannii isolated from non-ICU inpatients and ICU patients, respectively, demonstrated that >90% of isolates tested were susceptible to imipenem (96.5 and 96.6%) and meropenem (91.6 and 91.7%); fewer isolates from both non-ICU inpatients and ICU patients were susceptible to amikacin and ticarcillin-clavulanate (70 to 80% susceptible); and <60% of isolates were susceptible to ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, or levofloxacin. From 1998 to 2001, rates of multidrug resistance (resistance to at least three of the drugs ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, and imipenem) showed small increases among P. aeruginosa strains isolated from non-ICU inpatients (5.5 to 7.0%) and ICU patients (7.4 to 9.1%). From 1998 to 2001, rates of multidrug resistance among A. baumannii strains isolated from non-ICU inpatients (27.6 to 32.5%) and ICU patients (11.6 to 24.2%) were higher and more variable than those observed for P. aeruginosa. Isolates concurrently susceptible, intermediate, or resistant to both imipenem and meropenem accounted for 89.8 and 91.2% of P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii isolates, respectively, studied from 1998 to 2001. In conclusion, for aminoglycosides and most β-lactams susceptibility rates for P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii were constant or decreased only marginally (≤3%) from 1998 to 2001. Greater decreases in susceptibility rates were, however, observed for fluoroquinolones and ceftazidime among P. aeruginosa isolates.
PMCID: PMC153334  PMID: 12709340
18.  Comparative activities of the beta-lactamase inhibitors YTR 830, clavulanate, and sulbactam combined with ampicillin and broad-spectrum penicillins against defined beta-lactamase-producing aerobic gram-negative bacilli. 
The in vitro synergistic activities of the beta-lactamase inhibitors YTR 830, clavulanate, and sulbactam, combined with ampicillin, ticarcillin, mezlocillin, azlocillin, piperacillin, and apalcillin, were determined against 34 strains of members of the Enterobacteriaceae family, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas hydrophila, and Haemophilus influenzae with characterized plasmid or chromosomal beta-lactamases or both. Strains were tested against fixed concentrations of beta-lactamase inhibitors (8 micrograms/ml) combined with doubling dilutions of beta-lactams. Synergy was defined as a fourfold or greater decrease in the MIC of the beta-lactam. Against Enterobacteriaceae producing Richmond and Sykes class III and V plasmid-mediated beta-lactamases, synergy was obtained against most strains with YTR 830- and clavulanate-beta-lactam combinations, with sulbactam being less effective. Against Enterobacteriaceae producing class I chromosomal beta-lactamases, combinations containing YTR 830 or sulbactam were more synergistic than combinations containing clavulanate. Against strains producing class V PSE enzymes, all three inhibitors were synergistic with piperacillin and apalcillin against strains producing PSE-1, -3, and -4 enzymes, while the PSE-2-producing strain was resistant to all inhibitors. YTR 830-beta-lactam combinations were also synergistic against strains producing the novel beta-lactamases OHIO-1, TLE-1, AER-1, and ROB-1. Overall, YTR 830 with piperacillin or apalcillin was the most effective combination.
PMCID: PMC180488  PMID: 3015017
19.  Role of the beta-lactamase of Campylobacter jejuni in resistance to beta-lactam agents. 
We studied the role of the beta-lactamase of Campylobacter jejuni in resistance to beta-lactam agents. beta-Lactamase-positive strains were more resistant than beta-lactamase-negative strains to amoxicillin, ampicillin, and ticarcillin (P less than 0.05). With penicillin G, piperacillin, imipenem, and six cephalosporins, the susceptibility levels were similar for both beta-lactamase-positive and -negative strains. By using spectrophotometric and microbiological assays, the beta-lactamase from three strains hydrolyzed ampicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin G, cloxacillin, and, partially, cephalothin. Ticarcillin and piperacillin were partially hydrolyzed in the microbiological assay. There was no activity against five other cephalosporins or imipenem. Isoelectric focusing of the enzyme showed a pI of 8.8. Tazobactam was the best inhibitor of the enzyme, followed by clavulanic acid, sulbactam, and cefoxitin, while EDTA and p-chloromercuribenzoate had no activity. All beta-lactamase-positive strains became susceptible to amoxicillin and ampicillin with 1 micrograms of clavulanic acid per ml. With the same inhibitor, there was a reduced but significant effect for ticarcillin but no effect for penicillin G or piperacillin. Sulbactam had no effect and tazobactam was effective only at 2 micrograms/ml on amoxicillin and ampicillin. The beta-lactamase of C. jejuni seems to be a penicillinase with a role in resistance for only amoxicillin, ampicillin, and ticarcillin.
PMCID: PMC245112  PMID: 1854162
20.  Beta-lactamase production and susceptibilities to amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, ticarcillin, ticarcillin-clavulanate, cefoxitin, imipenem, and metronidazole of 320 non-Bacteroides fragilis Bacteroides isolates and 129 fusobacteria from 28 U.S. centers. 
beta-Lactamase production (nitrocefin disk method) and agar dilution susceptibility of amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, ticarcillin, ticarcillin-clavulanate, cefoxitin, imipenem, and metronidazole were determined for 320 Bacteroides species (not Bacteroides fragilis group) and 129 fusobacteria from 28 U.S. centers. Overall, 64.7% of Bacteroides species and 41.1% of fusobacteria were beta-lactamase positive. Among the Bacteroides species, positivity rates were highest for B. bivius (85.0%), followed by B. splanchnicus (83.3%), B. eggerthii (77.8%), and B. oralis (77.1%); 54.5% of black-pigmented Bacteroides species were beta-lactamase positive. Among the fusobacteria, Fusobacterium mortiferum showed the highest rate of beta-lactamase positivity (76.9%). MICs of amoxicillin (128 micrograms/ml) and ticarcillin (64 micrograms/ml) for 90% of all beta-lactamase-positive strains were reduced to 4 and 2 micrograms/ml, respectively, with the addition of clavulanate. MICs of amoxicillin and ticarcillin for 90% of all beta-lactamase-negative strains were 1 and 4 micrograms/ml, respectively, and greater than or equal to 98.4% of the strains were susceptible to the beta-lactams tested. Of the beta-lactamase-producing strains, 45.9% were susceptible to amoxicillin at less than or equal to 4 micrograms/ml and 93.4% were susceptible to ticarcillin at less than or equal to 64 micrograms/ml; the addition of clavulanate raised the rates to 90.4 and 100%, respectively. All strains were susceptible to cefoxitin, imipenem, and metronidazole. The activity of amoxicillin against 29 beta-lactamase-producing strains (10 Bacteroides species and 19 fusobacteria) was not enhanced by the addition of clavulanate; however, 82.7% of these strains were susceptible to amoxicillin, and all were susceptible to ticarcillin. Although beta-lactamase positivity is on the increase in non-B. fragilis group Bacteroides species and fusobacteria, amoxicillin-clavulanate, ticarcillin, cefoxitin, imipenem, and metronidazole should be suitable for the treatment of infections with these strains. The addition of clavulanate does not appreciably improve the efficacy of ticarcillin against these organisms.
PMCID: PMC171870  PMID: 2221864
21.  Serum and blister fluid pharmacokinetics and bactericidal activities of ampicillin-sulbactam, cefotetan, cefoxitin, ceftizoxime, and ticarcillin-clavulanate. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1992;36(10):2233-2238.
Ampicillin-sulbactam, ticarcillin-clavulanate, cefoxitin, cefotetan, and ceftizoxime are promoted for the treatment of mixed aerobic-anaerobic bacterial infections. Their activities have been compared in vitro but not in vivo. In order to assess the in vivo activities of these agents in serum and interstitial fluid, we administered single, intravenous doses of these antimicrobial agents to healthy subjects. Concentrations of the antimicrobial agents in serum and suction-induced blister fluid and bactericidal activity were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography and the standard methodology of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, respectively. The organisms used for bactericidal activity tests were one isolate each of Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Bacteroides fragilis. Pharmacokinetic parameters in serum and blister fluid were similar to those derived in other investigations. Of note were the high and prolonged concentrations of ticarcillin and cefotetan in blister fluid, despite high-level serum protein binding. The bactericidal activities in serum and blister fluid reflected the relative in vitro activities and kinetic dispositions of the various antimicrobial agents except for the bactericidal activity of cefotetan, which was substantially lower in blister fluid than serum, despite a blister fluid:serum area under the concentration-time curve ratio of 1.5. Similarly, the activity of ticarcillin-clavulanate in blister fluid was also substantially less than would have been predicted by the blister fluid:serum ratio of the area under the concentration-time curve of 1.1, possibly because of the low concentrations of clavulanate in blister fluid. The rankings of the in vivo bactericidal activities of the five drugs were as follows: for S. aureus, ampicillin-sulbactam > ticarcillin-clavulanate > ceftizoxime > cefoxitin > cefotetan; for K. pneumoniae, ceftizoxime > cefotetan > ampicillin-sulbactam = ticarcillin-clavulanate > cefoxitin; and for B.fragilis, ticarcillin-clavulanate > cefotetan > ceftizoxime > ampicillin-sulbactam = cefoxitin.
PMCID: PMC245482  PMID: 1444304
22.  Activities of oral and parenteral agents against penicillin-susceptible and -resistant pneumococci. 
This study examined bacteriostatic and bactericidal activities of oral and parenteral antibiotics for penicillin-susceptible and intermediately and fully penicillin-resistant pneumococci. beta-Lactamase inhibitors did not affect beta-lactam results. The activities of ampicillin, amoxicillin +/- clavulanate, WY-49605, cefuroxime, cefpodoxime, cefdinir, cefixime, and cefaclor against two penicillin-susceptible, two intermediately penicillin-resistant, and two fully penicillin-resistant pneumococcal strains were tested. For all three groups, bacteriostatic values of amoxicillin and WY-49605 were lower than were those of other beta-lactams tested. Of the cephalosporins, cefdinir, cefuroxime, and cefpodoxime yielded the lowest bacteriostatic values. All beta-lactams were bactericidal (reduced original counts by > or = 3 log10 CFU/ml) at 1 dilution above bacteriostatic values, except for cefpodoxime (bactericidal at 2 dilutions above bacteriostatic values for one susceptible strain and one intermediately resistant strain), cefuroxime (bactericidal at 2 dilutions above bacteriostatic values for one intermediately resistant strain), and ampicillin (bactericidal at 2 dilutions above bacteriostatic values for one intermediately resistant strain). The activities of piperacillin, piperacillin-tazobactam, ticarcillin, ticarcillin-clavulanate, ampicillin, ampicillin-sulbactam, ceftriaxone, ceftazidime, and ciprofloxacin against four penicillin-susceptible, two intermediately penicillin-resistant, and four fully penicillin-resistant pneumococcal strains were evaluated. Bacteriostatic values of piperacillin, ampicillin, and ceftriaxone for all groups were lower than were those of ticarcillin and ceftazidime. Bacteriostatic values of ciprofloxacin were unaffected by penicillin susceptibility. All beta-lactams were bactericidal at 1 dilution above the bacteriostatic value, except for piperacillin (bactericidal at 2 dilutions above the bacteriostatic value for one intermediately resistant strain), ticarcillin (bactericidal at 2 dilutions above the bacteriostatic value for one susceptible strain and one resistant strain), ampicillin (bactericidal at 2 dilutions above the bacteriostatic value for two resistant strains), ceftriaxone (bactericidal at 2 dilutions above the bacteriostatic value for one resistant strain), and ceftazidime (bactericidal at 2 dilutions above the bacteriostatic value for one susceptible strain).
PMCID: PMC162770  PMID: 7492093
23.  Use of Microdilution Panels with and without β-Lactamase Inhibitors as a Phenotypic Test for β-Lactamase Production among Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., Enterobacter spp., Citrobacter freundii, and Serratia marcescens 
Over the past decade, a number of new β-lactamases have appeared in clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae that, unlike their predecessors, do not confer β-lactam resistance that is readily detected in routine antibiotic susceptibility tests. Because optimal methodologies are needed to detect these important new β-lactamases, a study was designed to evaluate the ability of a panel of various β-lactam antibiotics tested alone and in combination with β-lactamase inhibitors to discriminate between the production of extended-spectrum β-lactamases, AmpC β-lactamases, high levels of K1 β-lactamase, and other β-lactamases in 141 isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter aerogenes, Citrobacter freundii, and Serratia marcescens possessing well-characterized β-lactamases. The microdilution panels studied contained aztreonam, cefpodoxime, ceftazidime, cefotaxime, and ceftriaxone, with and without 1, 2, and 4 μg of clavulanate per ml or 8 μg of sulbactam per ml and cefoxitin and cefotetan with and without 8 μg of sulbactam per ml. The results indicated that a minimum panel of five tests would provide maximum separation of extended-spectrum β-lactamase high AmpC, high K1, and other β-lactamase production in Enterobacteriaceae. These included cefpodoxime, cefpodoxime plus 4 μg of clavulanate per ml, ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, and ceftriaxone plus 8 μg of sulbactam per ml. Ceftriaxone plus 2 μg of clavulanate per ml could be substituted for cefpodoxime plus 4 μg of clavulanate per ml without altering the accuracy of the tests. This study indicated that tests with key β-lactam drugs, alone and in combination with β-lactamase inhibitors, could provide a convenient approach to the detection of a variety of β-lactamases in members of the family Enterobacteriaceae.
PMCID: PMC89285  PMID: 10348759
24.  In Vitro Activities of Nontraditional Antimicrobials against Multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii Strains Isolated in an Intensive Care Unit Outbreak 
Fifteen multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii isolates from patients in intensive care units and 14 nonoutbreak strains were tested to determine in vitro activities of nontraditional antimicrobials, including cefepime, meropenem, netilmicin, azithromycin, doxycycline, rifampin, sulbactam, and trovafloxacin. The latter five drugs were further tested against four of the strains for bactericidal or bacteriostatic activity by performing kill-curve studies at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 times their MICs. In addition, novel combinations of drugs with sulbactam were examined for synergistic interactions by using a checkerboard configuration. MICs at which 90% of the isolates tested were inhibited for antimicrobials showing activity against the multiresistant A. baumannii strains were as follows (in parentheses): doxycycline (1 μg/ml), azithromycin (4 μg/ml), netilmicin (1 μg/ml), rifampin (8 μg/ml), polymyxin (0.8 U/ml), meropenem (4 μg/ml), trovafloxacin (4 μg/ml), and sulbactam (8 μg/ml). In the kill-curve studies, azithromycin and rifampin were rapidly bactericidal while sulbactam was more slowly bactericidal. Trovafloxacin and doxycycline were bacteriostatic. None of the antimicrobials tested were bactericidal against all strains tested. The synergy studies demonstrated that the combinations of sulbactam with azithromycin, rifampin, doxycycline, or trovafloxacin were generally additive or indifferent.
PMCID: PMC89809  PMID: 10722508
25.  Comparative Evaluation of the in-vitro Activity of Six β-lactam/β-lactamase Inhibitor Combinations against Gram Negative Bacilli 
Background: The extensive use of the β-lactam antibiotics in hospitals and in the community has created major resistance problems which has led to increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. The use of the β-lactamase inhibitors in combination with the β-lactam antibiotics is currently the most successful strategy used for circumventing the resistance mechanisms.
Objective: To evaluate the in-vitro activity of six commercially available β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations against Gram Negative Bacilli (GNB).
Materials and Methods: A total of 384 non duplicate, consecutive, gram negative bacilli (278 Enterobacteriaceae and 106 non fermenters) isolated from various clinical samples were subjected to antimicrobial sensitivity testing by the Kirby-Bauer method. The following β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations were tested: amoxycillin-clavulanic acid, ampicillin-sulbactam, cefoperazonesulbactam, piperacillin-tazobactam, cefepime-tazobactam and ticarcillin-clavulanic acid.
Results: Against the Enterobacteriacae, the sensitivity of Cefepime- tazobactam was 90. 64%, followed by Cefoperazone-sulbactam (84.89%) and Piperacillin - tazobactam (53.95 %). The sensitivity of the non fermenters was the highest for Cefepime- tazobactam (49.04%) and was least for Ampicillin-sulbactam and Amoxycillinclavulanic acid (4.71% each). Cefepime-tazobactam was sensitive for all the extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) isolates.
Conclusion: Among the six β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations tested, Cefepime-tazobactam exhibited the best in-vitro activity against the gram negative bacilli isolated at our centre.
PMCID: PMC3592279  PMID: 23543071
β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations; Gram negative bacilli

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