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J Int Med Res. 1990;18 Suppl 4:67D-77D.

Differences between clavulanic acid and sulbactam in induction and inhibition of cephalosporinases in enterobacteria.

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University Hospital and School of Medicine, Dijon, France.


The ability of clavulanic acid and sulbactam to induce and inhibit cephalosporinases was evaluated in 16 clinical isolates of enterobacteria. Using the quantitative induction assay, the checkerboard method and the disc approximation test, clavulanic acid was shown to act as inducer for all species, whereas sulbactam only induced strains of Providencia stuartii. Antagonism was achieved using a combination of clavulanic acid and cefotaxime but a combination of sulbactam and cefotaxime was either synergistic or indifferent. This variation in effect was probably due to the fact that sulbactam, but not clavulanic acid could inhibit cephalosporinases. The data revealed a significant difference between sulbactam and clavulanic acid, which may have relevance to their relative usefulness in combination with beta-lactam antibiotics for the treatment of infections due to enterobacteria that produce inducible cephalosporinase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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