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APMIS. 2000 Sep;108(9):589-600.

Rapid development in vitro and in vivo of resistance to ceftazidime in biofilm-growing Pseudomonas aeruginosa due to chromosomal beta-lactamase.

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Department of Bacteriology, Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


The aim of this study was to examine the development of resistance of biofilm-growing P. aeruginosa during treatment with ceftazidime. Biofilms were established in vitro using a modified Robbins device (MRD) and in vivo in the rat model of chronic lung infection. Three P. aeruginosa strains isolated from the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients (MICceftazidime-basal/induced beta-lactamase activity: PAO 579= 0.8 mg/l-19/550 milliunits, 19676A=50 mg/l-38/957 milliunits, 17107B=100 mg/l-504/947 milliunits) were studied. After 1 or 2 weeks of continuous or intermittent (4 h/day) administration of ceftazidime to biofilms established in MDR, a statistically significant development of resistance to ceftazidime in PAO 579 or 19676A bacterial populations occurred. When ceftazidime was administered 4 h/day (200 mg/l) for 2 weeks, the frequency of resistant 19676A having MIC>25 mg/l was 4.4 10(-1) compared to 6.0-10(-5) in the control biofilm. The same trend was observed after continuous administration of ceftazidime. MICceftazidime of the more resistant variants was increased 500-fold for PAO 579 and 8-fold for 19676A, and the specific basal beta-lactamase activities from 19 to 1,400 units for PAO 579 and from 38 to 10,000 units for 19676A. Chronic P. aeruginosa lung infection was established with alginate-embedded PAO 579, 19676A or 17107B in 146 Lewis rats which were treated with ceftazidime 4 g/kg intraperitoneally twice a day for 1 week. A statistically significant development of resistance was observed for all three strains. The MICceftazidime of the more resistant variants was increased 15-fold for PAO 579, 8-fold for 19676A, and 4-fold for 17107B, and the specific basal 3-lactamase activity from 19 to 100 units for PAO 579, from 38 to 1,300 units for 19676A, and from 500 to 1,300 units for 17107B. It was shown that, during treatment with ceftazidime, biofilm-growing P. aeruginosa had the capacity to develop resistance due to the production of chromosomal beta-lactamase.

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