In Vitro Activity of Ceftaroline Alone and in Combination againstClinical Isolates of Resistant Gram-Negative Pathogens, Including -Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Ceftaroline is a novel broad-spectrum cephalosporin that exhibits bactericidal activity against many gram- positive and -negative pathogens. However, the activity of ceftaroline cannot be solely relied upon for eradication of multidrug-resistant gram-negative isolates, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae, which represent a current clinical concern. As drug combinations might be beneficial by potential synergy, we evaluated the in vitro activity of ceftaroline combined with meropenem, aztreonam, cefepime, tazobactam, amikacin, levofloxacin, and tigecycline. Susceptibility testing was performed for 20 clinical P. aeruginosa isolates, 10 ESBL-producing Escherichia coli isolates, 10 ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, and 10 AmpC-derepressed Enterobacter cloacae isolates. Time-kill experiments were performed for 10 isolates using antimicrobials at one-fourth the MIC. Ceftaroline exhibited a MIC range of 0.125 to 1,024 μg/ml and was reduced 2- to 512-fold by combination with tazobactam (4 μg/ml) for ESBL-producing strains. In time-kill experiments, ceftaroline plus amikacin was synergistic against 90% of the isolates (and indifferent for one P. aeruginosa isolate). Ceftaroline plus tazobactam was indifferent for E. cloacae and P. aeruginosa strains but synergistic against 100% of E. coli and K. pneumoniae isolates. Combinations of ceftaroline plus meropenem or aztreonam were also synergistic for all E. coli and E. cloacae isolates, respectively, but indifferent against 90% of the other isolates. Finally, combinations of ceftaroline plus either tigecycline, levofloxacin, or cefepime were indifferent for 100% of the isolates. No antagonism was observed with any combination. Ceftaroline plus amikacin appeared as the most likely synergistic combination. This represents a promising therapeutic option, and further studies are warranted to elucidate the clinical value of ceftaroline combinations against resistant gram-negative pathogens.


This article was created while Prof. Steven Leonard was part of Wayne State University's School of Medicine.