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Volume 47, Number 5, October 2014

Synergy of imipenem/colistin methanesulfonate combinations against imipenem-nonsusceptible multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii 

Hsieh-Shong Leu, Jung-Jr Ye, Ming-Hsun Lee, Lin-Hui Su, Po-Yen Huang, Tsu-Lan Wu, Ching-Tai Huang

Received: December 26, 2012    Revised: March 27, 2013    Accepted: May 17, 2013   


Background and purpose: 

The optimal combination ratio of imipenem to colistin methanesulfonate (CMS) against imipenem-nonsusceptible multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (INS-MDRAB) has not been determined in previous studies. To provide an alternative therapeutic option for clinical INS-MDRAB isolates, we investigated whether clinically achievable serum concentrations of CMS in combination with imipenem enhance the in vitro activity of imipenem against the INS-MDRAB isolates. 



Fifty-nine INS-MDRAB isolates with imipenem minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of ≥8 mg/L were selected randomly from the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at a university-affiliated medical center between July 1998 and May 2005. The in vitro activity of imipenem among these 59 clinical isolates was explored via serial two-fold dilutions containing a range of imipenem concentration from 0.125 mg/L to 256 mg/L, in combination with two fixed CMS concentrations at 0.5 mg/L and 1 mg/L. Genotype classification was performed using the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis method and infrequent-restriction-site polymerase chain reaction. 



A significant reversal of imipenem resistance (i.e., MICs ≤ 4 mg/L) was observed in 34 (57.6%) isolates and 44 (74.6%) isolates with the tests of CMS concentrations at 0.5 mg/L and 1 mg/L, respectively (p = 0.041). Genotype 1 was predominant (43 isolates, 72.9%) with imipenem resistance reversal rates of 51.2% and 79.1% (p = 0.004) in the tests of CMS at 0.5 mg/L and 1 mg/L, respectively. 



The synergy of imipenem/CMS against INS-MDRAB was significantly better for the CMS concentration at 1 mg/L than that at 0.5 mg/L, especially in our predominant clone. Our results provided insightful information for treating INS-MDRAB infections in clinical practice. 


Key words:

Colistin, Imipenem, Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii