Evaluation of Double- and Triple-Antibiotic Combinations for VIM- and NDM-Producing Klebsiella Pneumoniae by in vitro Time-Kill Experiments

T. Tängdén, Rachel Hickman, P. Forsberg, P. Lagerbäck, C. G. Giske, O. Cars

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Combination therapy is recommended for infections with carbapenemase- producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. However, limited data exist on which antibiotic combinations are the most effective. The aim of this study was to find effective antibiotic combinations against metallo-beta-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae (MBL-KP). Two VIM- and two NDM-producing K. pneumoniae strains, all susceptible to colistin, were exposed to antibiotics at clinically relevant static concentrations during 24-h time-kill experiments. Double- and triple-antibiotic combinations of aztreonam, ciprofloxacin, colistin, daptomycin, fosfomycin, meropenem, rifampin, telavancin, tigecycline, and vancomycin were used. Synergy was defined as a >2 log10 decrease in CFU/ml between the combination and its most active drug after 24 h, and bactericidal effect was defined as a >3 log10 decrease in CFU/ml after 24 h compared with the starting inoculum. Synergistic or bactericidal activity was demonstrated for aztreonam, fosfomycin, meropenem, and rifampin in double-antibiotic combinations with colistin and also for aztreonam, fosfomycin, and rifampin in triple-antibiotic combinations with meropenem and colistin. Overall, the combination of rifampin-meropenem-colistin was the most effective regimen, demonstrating synergistic and bactericidal effects against all four strains. Meropenem-colistin, meropenem-fosfomycin, and tigecycline-colistin combinations were not bactericidal against the strains used. The findings of this and other studies indicate that there is great potential of antibiotic combinations against carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae. However, our results deviate to some extent from those of previous studies, which might be because most studies to date have included KPC-producing rather than MBL-producing strains. More studies addressing MBL-KP are needed. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1757-1762
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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