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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2019 Aug 20. pii: dkz354. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkz354. [Epub ahead of print]

Activity of imipenem/relebactam against carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae with high colistin resistance.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University, 1001 E. Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.



Imipenem/relebactam, an investigational β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combination for treatment of Gram-negative infections, and comparators including ceftazidime/avibactam, piperacillin/tazobactam and colistin were tested for activity against representative carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) isolates.


MICs of the antimicrobial agents were determined using standard broth microdilution methodology for CPE isolates collected from Indiana patients, primarily during the time frame of 2013-17 (n = 199 of a total of 200 isolates). Inhibitors were tested at 4 mg/L in all combinations.


Of the CPE in the study, 199 produced plasmid-encoded KPC class A carbapenemases; 1 Serratia marcescens isolate produced the SME-1 chromosomal class A carbapenemase. MIC50/MIC90 values of imipenem/relebactam were ≤0.25/0.5 mg/L, whereas MIC50/MIC90 values of ceftazidime/avibactam were 1/2 mg/L. Resistance to colistin was observed in 54% (n = 97) of 180 non-Serratia isolates tested (MIC50 of 4 mg/L). Colistin resistance mechanisms included production of a plasmid-encoded mcr-1-like gene (n = 2) or an inactivated mgrB gene.


Imipenem/relebactam was the most potent agent tested against CPE in this study and may be a useful addition to the antimicrobial armamentarium to treat infections caused by these pathogens.


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