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Ceftazidime–avibactam: an evidence-based review of its pharmacology and potential use in the treatment of Gram-negative bacterial infections

Authors Lagacé-Wiens P, Walkty A, Karlowsky JA

Received 1 October 2013

Accepted for publication 8 November 2013

Published 24 January 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 13—25

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CE.S40698

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Philippe Lagacé-Wiens,1,2 Andrew Walkty,1,2 James A Karlowsky1,2

1Clinical Microbiology, Diagnostic Services Manitoba, 2Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Abstract: Avibactam (NXL104, AVE1330A) is a semi-synthetic, non-β-lactam, β-lactamase inhibitor that is active against Ambler class A, class C, and some class D serine β-lactamases. In this review, we summarize the in vitro data, pharmacology, mechanisms of action and resistance, and clinical trial data relating to the use of this agent combined with ceftazidime for the treatment of Gram-negative bacterial infections. The addition of avibactam to ceftazidime improves its in vitro activity against Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Avibactam does not improve the activity of ceftazidime against Acinetobacter spp., Burkholderia spp., or most anaerobic Gram-negative rods. Pharmacodynamic data indicate that ceftazidime–avibactam is bactericidal at concentrations achievable in human serum. Animal studies demonstrate that ceftazidime–avibactam is effective in ceftazidime-resistant Gram-negative septicemia, meningitis, pyelonephritis, and pneumonia. Limited clinical trials published to date have reported that ceftazidime–avibactam is as effective as therapy with a carbapenem in complicated urinary tract infection and complicated intra-abdominal infection (combined with metronidazole) including infection caused by cephalosporin-resistant Gram-negative isolates. Safety and tolerability of ceftazidime–avibactam in clinical trials has been excellent, with few serious drug-related adverse events reported. Given the abundant clinical experience with ceftazidime and the significant improvement that avibactam provides in its activity against contemporary β-lactamase-producing Gram-negative pathogens, it is likely this new combination agent will play a role in the empiric treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (monotherapy) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (in combination with metronidazole) caused or suspected to be caused by antimicrobial-resistant pathogens (eg, extended spectrum beta-lactamase-, AmpC-, or Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa). Potential future uses also include hospital-acquired pneumonia (in combination with antistaphylococcal and antipneumococcal agents) or treatment of skin and soft tissue infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative pathogens (eg, diabetic foot infections), but further clinical trials are required.

Keywords: β-lactamase, microbiology, pharmacokinetics, NXL-104, clinical trials, review


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