Options for treatment of infections due to KPC-producing K. pneumoniae are limited, and combination therapy is often recommended. In this report, the in vitro and in vivo activity of potential therapeutic agents and combinations was assessed against four KPC-producing K. pneumoniae isolates.
Using clinically-relevant concentrations, time-kill experiments and the Galleria mellonella model of infection were used to examine the activity of polymyxin B, ceftazidime-avibactam, meropenem, rifampin, and amikacin alone and in combination. Four isolates of KPC-producing K. pneumoniae were studied, including two isolates that were resistant to polymyxin B and had ceftazidime-avibactam MICs of 8 µg/ml. The other two K. pneumoniae isolates were susceptible to polymyxin B and had lower MICs of ceftazidime-avibactam.
Results: Two isolates that were resistant to polymyxin B and with ceftazidime-avibactam MICs of 8 µg/ml were also resistant to amikacin and meropenem. When ceftazidime-avibactam was combined with either amikacin or meropenem, synergy was observed in vitro, and these combinations were associated with improved survival with the in vivo model. The other two K. pneumoniae isolates were susceptible to polymyxin B and had lower MICs of ceftazidime-avibactam. At concentrations four times the MIC, ceftazidime-avibactam had bactericidal activity in vitro; at one fourth the MIC, synergy was observed when combined with meropenem. Improved survival rates were observed with therapy with ceftazidime-avibactam, particularly when combined with a second agent for one isolate. In the in vivo model, polymyxin B with or without rifampin or meropenem, was ineffective against polymyxin B resistant strains.
Pending clinical studies, combining ceftazidime-avibactam with another agent (e.g., a carbapenem) should be encouraged when treating serious infections due to these pathogens, especially for isolates with ceftazidime-avibactam MICs near the susceptibility breakpoint.
D. Abraham, None
D. Landman, None
J. Quale, None
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