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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2001 Jul;40(3):117-20.

Interactions of colistin and rifampin on multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii.

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4th Department of Internal Medicine, University of Athens, Medical School, Greece.


The increased incidence of nosocomial infections by multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter spp creates demand on the application of some combinations of older antimicrobials on that species. The in vitro activities of colistin and of rifampin and of their interaction were tested on 39 nosocomial isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii. All isolates were resistant to ampicillin/sulbactam, to 3(rd) and 4(th) generation cephalosporins, to amikacin and to ciprofloxacin. MICs were determined by a microdilution technique and interactive studies between 1x or 4x MIC of colistin and rifampin were performed by the time-kill assay. Rifampin was applied at a concentration of 2 microg/mL which is equal to its mean serum level. All isolates were inhibited by colistin and only 15.2% by rifampin. Synergy between 1x MIC of colistin and rifampin was detected in 15.4% of isolates at 6 h of growth and in 51.3% of isolates at 24 h of growth. Synergy between 4x MIC of colistin and rifampin was detected in 15.4% of isolates at 6 h of growth and in 66.7% of isolates at 24 h of growth. It is concluded that colistin is highly active on multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter spp and its activity on A.baumannii is increased in the presence of rifampin, so that their administration might be proposed for nosocomial infections by these isolates.

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