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In vitro Combined Inhibitory Activities of β-Lactam Antibiotics and Clavulanic Acid Against blaKPC-2-Positive Klebsiella pneumoniae

Authors Peng M, Han R, Guo Y, Zheng Y, Yang F, Xu X, Hu F

Received 17 November 2020

Accepted for publication 9 January 2021

Published 2 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 361—368


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Héctor Mora-Montes

Mingjia Peng,1,2 Renru Han,1,2 Yan Guo,1,2 Yonggui Zheng,1,2 Feifei Yang,1,2 Xiaogang Xu,1,2 Fupin Hu1,2

1Institute of Antibiotics, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Key Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology of Antibiotics, Ministry of Health, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3National Clinical Research Centre for Aging and Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Fupin Hu; Xiaogang Xu Email;

Background: The spread of KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae has triggered a global public health concern, with KPC-2-positive strains being the most prevalent in China. We hereby studied the in vitro combined inhibitory activities of three kinds of β-lactam antibiotics and clavulanic acid at different concentrations against blaKPC-2-positive Klebsiella pneumoniae to explore the antimicrobial characteristics of these combinations and alternative therapeutic regimens for infections caused by blaKPC-2-positive K. pneumoniae strains.
Materials and Methods: In this study, 153 clinically isolated blaKPC-2-positive K. pneumoniae strains from 19 provinces in China were collected from 2016 to 2018. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of imipenem/clavulanic acid, meropenem/clavulanic acid, ceftazidime/clavulanic acid, and each antimicrobial agent alone was performed by broth microdilution technique according to the CLSI guidelines. The concentration ratios of β-lactam antibiotics to clavulanic acid were as follows: 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 1:8, 1:16, 1:32. The antimicrobial susceptibility of the combinations was determined according to the breakpoints of Imipenem, meropenem, and ceftazidime established by the CLSI directives for Enterobacteriaceae.
Results: The MICs of all three combinations gradually declined with increments in the proportion of clavulanic acid in the regimens, and the most significant decline in the MIC50 and MIC90 was seen in combinations at the concentration ratio of 1:1 (also 1:2 for meropenem/clavulanic acid). When the concentration of clavulanic acid was restricted to 4 mg/L, the susceptibility of more than 70% of the isolates to the regimens could be restored with imipenem MIC 2– 4 mg/L, meropenem MIC 2– 8 mg/L or ceftazidime MIC 8mg/L. However, the percentage decreased to 30 to 40% when the initial MIC level was higher.
Conclusion: The highest combined inhibitory activity of β-lactam antibiotics/clavulanic acid at low concentration ratios against blaKPC-2-positive K. pneumoniae may offer a new way to optimize the effects of these antimicrobial regimens.

Keywords: KPC, Enterobacteriaceae, combined inhibitory activity, clavulanic acid, β-lactam antibiotic

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