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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1998 Nov;17(11):754-60.

Antibacterial activity of meropenem against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, including antibiotic-induced morphological changes and endotoxin-liberating effects.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Hospital Ulm, Germany.


The in vitro effects of meropenem on Pseudomonas aeruginosa were examined by studying (i) the inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations of meropenem versus those of imipenem for clinical isolates; (ii) changes in bacterial morphology during in vitro culture; and (iii) release of endotoxin induced by meropenem compared with that induced by other antipseudomonal compounds. Meropenem MIC90 and MBC90 values for 108 clinical isolates were 2 and 4.8 mg/l compared to 4.5 and 9.6 mg/l for imipenem. Morphological studies using phase-contrast and scanning electron microscopy showed that meropenem induced the formation of indeterminate bacterial cell forms at drug concentrations of 1-2.5 mg/l (0.5- to 1.25-fold the MIC), while spheroplasts predominated at drug levels exceeding 5 mg/l (2.5-fold the MIC). Determination of free and EDTA-releasable endotoxin activity by means of the Limulus lysate test showed that both meropenem and imipenem liberated significantly less endotoxin than did ceftazidime. Therefore, although meropenem binds to penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) 2 and 3 (in contrast to imipenem, which binds to PBP2 only), endotoxin release should not be a cause of concern when treating systemic gram-negative infections with this drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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