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Cefepime/tazobactam compared with other tazobactam combinations against problem Gram-negative bacteria

Shazad Mushtaq, Paolo Garello, Anna Vickers, Neil Woodford, David M Livermore
International journal of antimicrobial agents 2021 v.57 no.5 pp. 106318
Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, agar, beta-lactamase, ertapenem, new combination, pharmacodynamics, piperacillin, porins
Piperacillin/tazobactam has long been a broad-spectrum ‘workhorse’ antibiotic; however, it is compromised by resistance. One response is to re-partner tazobactam with cefepime, which is easier to protect, being less β-lactamase labile, and to use a high-dose and prolonged infusion. On this basis, Wockhardt are developing cefepime/tazobactam (WCK 4282) as a 2+2 g q8h combination with a 90-min infusion.The activity of cc cefepime/tazobactam was assessed, with other tazobactam combinations as comparators, against 1632 Enterobacterales, 745 Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 450 other non-fermenters, as submitted to the UK National Reference Laboratory. These were categorised by carbapenemase-gene detection and interpretive reading of phenotypes, with MICs determined by British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy agar dilution.Although higher breakpoints may be justifiable, based on the pharmacodynamics, the results were reviewed against current cefepime criteria. On this basis, cefepime/tazobactam was broadly active against Enterobacterales with AmpC enzymes and extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), even when they had ertapenem resistance, suggesting porin loss. At 8+8 mg/L, activity extended to > 90% of Enterobacterales with OXA-48 and KPC carbapenemases, although the MICs for KPC producers belonging to the international Klebsiella pneumoniae ST258 lineage were higher; metallo-β-lactamase producers remained resistant. Cefepime/tazobactam was less active than ceftolozane/tazobactam against Pseudomonas aeruginosa with AmpC de-repression or high-level efflux but achieved wider antipseudomonal coverage than piperacillin/tazobactam. Activity against other non-fermenters was species-specific.Overall, cefepime/tazobactam had a spectrum exceeding those of piperacillin/tazobactam and ceftolozane/tazobactam and resembling or exceeding that of carbapenems. Used as a ‘new-combination of old-agents’ it has genuine potential to be ‘carbapenem-sparing’.