Efficacy of ceftolozane/tazobactam, alone and in combination with colistin, against multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in an in vitro biofilm pharmacodynamic model

Joan Gómez-Junyent, Eva Benavent, Yanik Sierra, Cristina El Haj, Laura Soldevila, Benjamín Torrejón, Raul Rigo-Bonnin, Fe Tubau, Javier Ariza, Oscar Murillo
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 2019, 53 (5): 612-619

OBJECTIVES: Ceftolozane/tazobactam is a potential tool for infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), but its efficacy against some difficult-to-treat infections has not been well defined.

METHODS: Using an in vitro pharmacodynamic biofilm model, this study evaluated the comparative efficacy of ceftolozane/tazobactam against MDR/extensively drug-resistant (XDR) P. aeruginosa strains, alone and in combination with colistin. Simulated regimens of ceftolozane/tazobactam (2 g/1 g every 8 h), meropenem (2 g every 8 h) and ceftazidime (2 g every 8 h), alone and in combination with colistin (continuous infusion) were evaluated against three colistin-susceptible and ceftazidime-resistant strains: MDR-HUB1, ceftolozane/tazobactam-susceptible and meropenem-susceptible; XDR-HUB2, ceftolozane/tazobactam-susceptible and meropenem-resistant; MDR-HUB3, ceftolozane/tazobactam-resistant and meropenem-susceptible. Antibiotic efficacy was evaluated by decreases in bacterial counts (Δlog CFU/mL) from biofilm-embedded bacteria over 54 h. Resistance emergence was screened.

RESULTS: Among monotherapies, ceftolozane/tazobactam had low killing but no resistance appeared, ceftazidime was ineffective, colistin was initially effective but regrowth and resistance occurred, and meropenem was bactericidal against carbapenem-susceptible strains. Ceftolozane/tazobactam plus colistin was the most effective combination against the meropenem-resistant XDR-HUB2 strain (Δlog CFU/mL 54-0 h = -4.42 vs. -3.54 for meropenem-colistin; P = 0.002), whereas this combination against MDR-HUB1 (-4.36) was less effective than meropenem-colistin (-6.25; P < 0.001). Ceftolozane/tazobactam plus colistin was ineffective against the ceftolozane/tazobactam-resistant strain; meropenem plus colistin was the most bactericidal therapy (-6.37; P < 0.001 vs. others). Combinations of active beta-lactams plus colistin prevented the emergence of colistin-resistant strains.

CONCLUSIONS: Combinations of colistin plus ceftolozane/tazobactam and meropenem were the most appropriate treatments for biofilm-related infections caused by XDR and MDR P. aeruginosa strains, respectively. These combinations could be considered as potential treatment options for these difficult to treat infections.

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