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Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Jul 15;41(2):149-58. Epub 2005 May 31.

Effect of aminoglycoside and beta-lactam combination therapy versus beta-lactam monotherapy on the emergence of antimicrobial resistance: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials.

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Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Henry Dunant Hospital, Athens, Greece.



The addition of an aminoglycoside to a beta -lactam therapy regimen has been suggested to have a beneficial effect in delaying or preventing the development of antimicrobial resistance. We studied the effect of aminoglycoside/ beta -lactam combination therapy versus beta-lactam monotherapy on the emergence of resistance.


We performed a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) that compared aminoglycoside/ beta-lactam combination therapy with beta-lactam monotherapy and that reported data regarding the emergence of resistance (primary outcome) and/or development of superinfection, treatment failure, treatment failure attributable to emergence of resistance, treatment failure attributable to superinfection, all-cause mortality during treatment, and mortality due to infection. Data for this meta-analysis were identified from the PubMed database, Current Contents database, Cochrane central register of controlled trials, and references in relevant articles.


A total of 8 RCTs were included in the analysis. Beta -lactam monotherapy was not associated with a greater emergence of resistance than was the aminoglycoside/ beta-lactam combination (odds ratio [OR], 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56-1.47). Actually, beta -lactam monotherapy was associated with fewer superinfections (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.42-0.93) and fewer treatment failures (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.38-1.01). Rates of treatment failure attributable to emergence of resistance (OR, 3.09; 95% CI, 0.75-12.82), treatment failure attributable to superinfection (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.33-1.10), all-cause mortality during treatment (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.40-1.25), and mortality due to infection (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.46-1.21) did not differ significantly between the 2 regimens.


Compared with beta-lactam monotherapy, the aminoglycoside/ beta-lactam combination was not associated with a beneficial effect on the development of antimicrobial resistance among initially antimicrobial-susceptible isolates.

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