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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2002 Sep;44(1):35-41.

Cefepime, piperacillin/tazobactam, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, and levofloxacin alone and in combination against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.


A beta-lactam plus an aminoglycoside is the standard for treating severe Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. However, the fluoroquinolones are safer and have been widely used as an alternative to the aminoglycosides in this setting. In this study we compared the synergistic activities of piperacillin/tazobactam and cefepime when either drug was combined with gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, or levofloxacin against P. aeruginosa. Susceptibility testing and time-kill curves were performed against 12 clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa. All combinations were bactericidal and retained this activity over the 24 hr period except for piperacillin/tazobactam in combination with levofloxacin or ciprofloxacin against 2 isolates and cefepime in combination with levofloxacin against 1 isolate. None of the combinations were antagonistic. No statistical difference in the frequency of synergy exists between the beta-lactam plus gentamicin (79%) and the beta-lactams plus either ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin combinations (58%, 67%). Furthermore, no differences in synergistic activity were noted between ciprofloxacin combinations (58%) and levofloxacin combinations (67%). In conclusion, the degree of synergy between a beta-lactam plus aminoglycoside and a beta-lactam plus fluoroquinolone seem to be comparable. Furthermore, there is a similar rate of synergy among different fluoroquinolone-based combinations. However, faster killing, less regrowth, and decrease in the development of resistance were seen with the beta-lactam plus aminoglycoside combination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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