Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CR-PSA) imposes great limitations on empirical therapeutic choices, which are further complicated by metallo-β-lactamase production. This study evaluated in vitro antimicrobial synergy of ceftolozane/tazobactam in combination with aztreonam and fosfomycin against MDR PSA.
MICs were determined by broth microdilution and gradient strips. The effect of ceftolozane/tazobactam+aztreonam and ceftolozane/tazobactam+fosfomycin combinations were tested against 27 MDR PSA isolates carrying blaSPM-1 (n = 13), blaIMP (n = 4), blaVIM (n = 3), blaGES-1 (n = 2) and blaCTX-M-like (n = 2), and 3 isolates with no acquired β-lactamase production detected by gradient diffusion strip crossing (GDSC). Six genetically unrelated SPM-1-producing isolates were also evaluated by time–kill analysis (TKA).
All CR-PSA isolates harbouring blaSPM-1, blaGES-1 and blaIMP-1 were categorized as resistant to ceftolozane/tazobactam, meropenem and fosfomycin, with 70% being susceptible to aztreonam. Synergism for ceftolozane/tazobactam+fosfomycin and ceftolozane/tazobactam+aztreonam combinations was observed for 88.9% (24/27) and 18.5% (5/27) of the isolates by GDSC, respectively. A 3- to 9-fold reduction in ceftolozane/tazobactam MICs was observed, depending on the combination. Ceftolozane/tazobactam+fosfomycin was synergistic by TKA against one of six SPM-1-producing isolates, with additional non-synergistic bacterial density reduction for another isolate. Aztreonam peak concentrations alone demonstrated a ≥3 log10 cfu/mL reduction against all six isolates, but all strains were within the susceptible range for the drug. No antagonism was observed.