Routine susceptibility testing of four antibiotic combinations for improvement of laboratory guide to therapy of cystic fibrosis infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa

K Weiss, J R Lapointe
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 1995, 39 (11): 2411-4
Previous studies have demonstrated synergy between an aminoglycoside and a beta-lactam for treating Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. Cystic fibrosis patients are prone to infection by this bacterium, which becomes very resistant with recurrent antibiotic treatments. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility patterns of 122 isolates of P. aeruginosa isolated from cystic fibrosis patients to five individual antibiotics (tobramycin, ceftazidime, piperacillin, ticarcillin, and imipenem) and to four antibiotic combinations (tobramycin associated with one of the other antibiotics). Strains were selected because of their resistance to individual antimicrobial agents, which ranged from 21.3% for imipenem to 56.5% for tobramycin. By using an automated broth microdilution method, we were able to demonstrate synergy against 39 strains (32%) with tobramycin-ticarcillin, against 38 strains (31%) with tobramycin-piperacillin, against 47 strains (39%) with tobramycin-ceftazidime, and against 23 strains (19%) with tobramycin-imipenem. Of the 122 isolates, 77 (63%) were rendered significantly susceptible to at least one of the four antibiotic combinations by synergy. These results suggest that when appropriate technology is available, susceptibility to antibiotic combinations greatly improves the guide to antibiotic therapy for infections due to P. aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients.

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