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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 1997 Aug;28(4):157-63.

A review of the in vitro activity of meropenem and comparative antimicrobial agents tested against 30,254 aerobic and anaerobic pathogens isolated world wide.

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Department of Pathology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.


The in vitro activity of meropenem (formerly SM-7738), a new carbapenem, was compared with that of imipenem and five other broad-spectrum antimicrobials (ceftazidime, cefotaxime, piperacillin, piperacillin/tazobactam, and ciprofloxacin) against 30,254 clinically significant pathogens isolated in nine countries worldwide. Overall, the carbapenems, meropenem and imipenem, were the most active drugs. Meropenem was four- to 64-fold more active than imipenem against Gram-negative bacteria, including the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia cepacia, Haemophilus influenzae, and Neisseria meningitidis. Meropenem was also quite active against ceftazidime-resistant strains of Enterobacteriaceae, inhibiting 87.5 to 100% at < or = 4 micrograms/ml. In contrast, imipenem was four- to eight-fold more active than meropenem against Gram-positive species, including methicillin-susceptible strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Enterococcus faecalis. Among the anaerobes, strains resistant to meropenem or imipenem were encountered very rarely. These extensive data provide additional in vitro support for the clinical use of meropenem as a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent active against key pathogenic species of bacteria.

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