Journal Article

Experimental study on the efficacy of combinations of glycopeptides and β-lactams against <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> with reduced susceptibility to glycopeptides

Alejandro Domenech, Sandra Ribes, Carmen Cabellos, Ferran Taberner, Fe Tubau, M. Angeles Domínguez, Abelardo Montero, Josefina Liñares, Javier Ariza and Francesc Gudiol

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 56, issue 4, pages 709-716
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online August 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Experimental study on the efficacy of combinations of glycopeptides and β-lactams against Staphylococcus aureus with reduced susceptibility to glycopeptides

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  • Medical Oncology
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Objectives: The combination of glycopeptides and β-lactams has been proposed as an alternative therapy against infections due to Staphylococcus aureus with reduced susceptibility to glycopeptides, though its role is still controversial. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy (decrease in bacterial concentration after 24 h therapy) of these combinations both in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: Four strains of S. aureus with different glycopeptide susceptibility (MICs of vancomycin from 1 to 8 mg/L) were used. In vitro experiments were performed by means of time–kill curves while we used the mouse peritonitis model for in vivo evaluation.

Results: Combinations of glycopeptides and β-lactams showed synergy in in vitro time–kill curves against the four staphylococcal strains, the highest efficacy being detected against the glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus (GISA) strain (MIC = 8 mg/L) (Δlog 24 h = −3.19 cfu/mL for vancomycin at 1/2 × MIC and oxacillinat 1/64 × MIC versus −0.56 cfu/mL for vancomycin alone at 1/2 × MIC). On the other hand, no significant increase in efficacy was observed in vivo in the experimental model. The efficacy of the combinations decreased in correlation to the decreasing susceptibility of the strains to glycopeptides, showing only residual activity against the GISA strain (Δlog 24 h = −1.42 cfu/mL for vancomycin and cloxacillin versus −1.22 cfu/mL for vancomycin).

Conclusions: In the in vivo setting we were unable to demonstrate the synergism between glycopeptides and β-lactams observed in vitro; nor did combinations show antagonism against any of the strains. Though the usefulness of these combinations cannot be totally ruled out in highly specific clinical conditions, it seems unlikely that they will provide a serious therapeutic alternative in most hGISA and GISA infections in the coming years.

Keywords: vancomycin; animal models; GISA; heterogeneous resistance

Journal Article.  5538 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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