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Volume 49, Number 6, December 2016

Comparison of the clinical efficacy between tigecycline plus extended-infusion imipenem and sulbactam plus imipenem against ventilator-associated pneumonia with pneumonic extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii bacteremia, and correlation of clinical efficacy with in vitro synergy tests 

Shio-Shin Jean, Tai-Chin Hsieh, Chin-Wan Hsu, Wen-Sen Lee, Kuan-Jen Bai, Carlos Lam


Corresponding author:

Shio-Shin Jean 


Background and purpose: 

To compare the clinical efficacy between salvage antimicrobial regimen consisting of tigecycline plus extended-infusion imipenem/cilastatin (TIC) and regimen of sulbactam plus imipenem/cilastatin (SIC) for patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia and pneumonic bacteremia due to extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Acinetobacter baumannii (Ab) isolates, and determine the correlation of results of in vitro tigecycline–imipenem synergy test with clinical efficacy. 



The comparative survey was conducted at a medical center in Taiwan in 2013. Patients comprising the TIC group (n = 28) received tigecycline plus extended-infusion imipenem/cilastatin following unresponsiveness to 3-day sulbactam–imipenem/cilastatin therapy, and those in the SIC group (n = 56) received sulbactam–imipenem/cilastatin throughout the course. Univariate and multivariate analyses were applied to explore 30-day case-fatality independent predictors. Additionally, the checkerboard test and time-kill analysis were performed for the bloodstream XDR-Ab isolates from patients in the TIC group, and molecular characterization was done for the bloodstream XDR-Ab strains of all patients. 



We found that the TIC scheme has a significant benefit on improving patients' survival status (the mortality rate of TIC and SIC group patients was 14.3% and 64.3%, respectively), corresponding well with in vitro synergy or additivity results by the checkerboard test. Twenty TIC group cases had monomicrobial XDR-Ab cultured from tracheal aspirates after 10 days of tigecycline–imipenem/cilastatin therapy, but none developed subsequent pneumonia. However, breakthrough primary Burkholderia cepacia (n = 3) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 1) bacteremias were attributed to four TIC case fatalities. Shock, SIC regimen usage, and development of breakthrough bacteremia were independent predictors of 30-day in-hospital mortality. 



Although the TIC regimen showed good efficacy, its value regarding managing XDR-Ab ventilator-associated pneumonia bacteremia needs further evaluation. 


Key words:

combination regimen, extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, imipenem, sulbactam, tigecycline, ventilator-associated pneumonia