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Deciphering mechanisms affecting cefepime-taniborbactam in vitro activity in carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas spp. isolates recovered during a surveillance study in Spain.

PURPOSE: To characterize the resistance mechanisms affecting the cefepime-taniborbactam combination in a collection of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas spp. (predominantly P. aeruginosa; CRPA) clinical isolates.

METHODS: CPE (n = 247) and CRPA (n = 170) isolates were prospectively collected from patients admitted to 8 Spanish hospitals. Susceptibility to cefepime-taniborbactam and comparators was determined by broth microdilution. Cefepime-taniborbactam was the most active agent, inhibiting 97.6% of CPE and 67.1% of CRPA (MICs ≤ 8/4 mg/L). All isolates with cefepime-taniborbactam MIC > 8/4 mg/L (5 CPE and 52 CRPA) and a subset with MIC ≤ 8/4 mg/L (23 CPE and 24 CRPA) were characterized by whole genome sequencing.

RESULTS: A reduced cefepime-taniborbactam activity was found in two KPC-ST307-Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates with altered porins [KPC-62-K. pneumoniae (OmpA, OmpR/EnvZ), KPC-150-K. pneumoniae (OmpK35, OmpK36)] and one each ST133-VIM-1-Enterobacter hormaechei with altered OmpD, OmpR, and OmpC; IMP-8-ST24-Enterobacter asburiae; and NDM-5-Escherichia coli with an YRIN-inserted PBP3 and a mutated PBP2. Among the P. aeruginosa (68/76), elevated cefepime-taniborbactam MICs were mostly associated with GES-5-ST235, OXA-2+VIM-2-ST235, and OXA-2+VIM-20-ST175 isolates also carrying mutations in PBP3, efflux pump (mexR, mexZ) and AmpC (mpl) regulators, and non-carbapenemase-ST175 isolates with AmpD-T139M and PBP3-R504C mutations. Overall, accumulation of these mutations was frequently detected among non-carbapenemase producers.

CONCLUSIONS: The reduced cefepime-taniborbactam activity among the minority of isolates with elevated cefepime-taniborbactam MICs is not only due to IMP carbapenemases but also to the accumulation of multiple resistance mechanisms, including PBP and porin mutations in CPE and chromosomal mutations leading to efflux pumps up-regulation, AmpC overexpression, and PBP modifications in P. aeruginosa.

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