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Avicenna J Med. 2013 Oct;3(4):92-6. doi: 10.4103/2231-0770.120500.

Tigecycline activity against metallo-β-lactamase-producing bacteria.

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Department of Microbiology, R. G. Kar Medical College, Kolkata, India.



[corrected] Treatment of serious life-threatening multi-drug-resistant organisms poses a serious problem due to the limited therapeutic options. Tigecycline has been recently marketed as a broad-spectrum antibiotic with activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Even though many studies have demonstrated the activity of tigecycline against ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, its activity is not well-defined against micro-organisms producing metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs), as there are only a few reports and the number of isolates tested is limited.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the activity of tigecycline against MBL-producing bacterial isolates.


The isolates were tested for MBL production by (i) combined-disk test, (ii) double disc synergy test (DDST), (iii) susceptibility to aztreonam (30 μg) disk. Minimum inhibitory concentration to tigecycline was determined according to agar dilution method as per Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines. Disc diffusion susceptibility testing was also performed for all these isolates using tigecycline (15 μg) discs.


Among the total 308 isolates included in the study, 99 were found to be MBL producers. MBL production was observed mostly in isolates from pus samples (40.47%) followed by urine (27.4%) and blood (13.09%). MBL production was observed in E. coli (41.48%), K. pneumoniae (26.67%), Proteus mirabilis (27.78%), Citrobacter spp. (41.67%), Enterobacter spp. (25.08%), and Acinetobacter spp. (27.27%). The result showed that tigecycline activity was unaffected by MBL production and it was showed almost 100% activity against all MBL-producing isolates, with most of the isolates exhibiting an MIC ranging from 0.25-8 μg/ml, except 2 MBL-producing E. coli isolates who had an MIC of 8 μg/ml.


To conclude, tigecycline was found to be highly effective against MBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae and acinetobacter isolates, but the presence of resistance among organisms, even before the mass usage of the drug, warrants the need of its usage as a reserve drug. The study also found that the interpretative criteria for the disc diffusion method, recommended by the FDA, correlates well with the MIC detection methods. So, the microbiology laboratories might use the relatively easier method of disc diffusion, as compared to the comparatively tedious method of MIC determination.


Gram-negative bacteria; metallo-β-lactamases; tigecycline

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