The emergence of colistin or tigecycline resistance as well as imipenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii poses a great therapeutic challenge. The bactericidal and synergistic effects of several combinations of antimicrobial agents against imipenem-, colistin- or tigecycline-resistant A. baumannii isolates were investigated by in vitro time-kill experiments. Six imipenem-resistant A. baumannii blood isolates were examined in this study, including colistin- and tigecycline-susceptible, colistin-resistant but tigecycline-susceptible, and colistin-susceptible but tigecycline-resistant isolates. Time-kill studies were performed using five antimicrobial agents singly or in combinations (imipenem plus colistin, imipenem plus ampicillin-sulbactam, colistin plus rifampicin, colistin plus tigecycline, and tigecycline plus rifampicin) at concentrations of 0.5x and 1 x their MICs. Only imipenem was consistently effective as a single agent against all six A. baumannii isolates. Although the effectiveness of combinations of 0.5x MIC antimicrobial agents was inconsistent, combination regimens using 1 x MIC of the antimicrobial agents displayed excellent bactericidal activities against all six A. baumannii isolates. Among the combinations of 0.5x MIC antimicrobial agents, the combination of colistin and tigecycline showed synergistic or bactericidal effects against four of the isolates. This in vitro time-kill analysis suggests that antimicrobial combinations are effective for killing imipenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates, even if they are simultaneously resistant to either colistin or tigecycline. However, the finding that the combinations of 0.5x MIC antimicrobial agents were effective on only some isolates may warrant further investigation of the doses of combination agents needed to kill resistant A. baumannii.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)