Ceftolozane-Tazobactam against Pseudomonas aeruginosa Cystic Fibrosis Clinical Isolates in the Hollow-Fiber Infection Model: Challenges Imposed by Hypermutability and Heteroresistance

Jessica R. Tait, Marina Harper, Sara Cortés-Lara, Kate E. Rogers, Carla López-Causapé, Thomas R. Smallman, Yinzhi Lang, Wee Leng Lee, Jieqiang Zhou, Jürgen B. Bulitta, Roger L. Nation, John D. Boyce, Antonio Oliver, Cornelia B. Landersdorfer

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa remains a challenge in chronic respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis (CF). Ceftolozane-tazobactam has not yet been evaluated against multidrug-resistant hypermutable P. aeruginosa isolates in the hollow-fiber infection model (HFIM). Isolates CW41, CW35, and CW44 (ceftolozane-tazobactam MICs of 4, 4, and 2 mg/L, respectively) from adults with CF were exposed to simulated representative epithelial lining fluid pharmacokinetics of ceftolozane-tazobactam in the HFIM. Regimens were continuous infusion (CI; 4.5 g/day to 9 g/day, all isolates) and 1-h infusions (1.5 g every 8 hours and 3 g every 8 hours, CW41). Whole-genome sequencing and mechanism-based modeling were performed for CW41. CW41 (in four of five biological replicates) and CW44 harbored preexisting resistant subpopulations; CW35 did not. For replicates 1 to 4 of CW41 and CW44, 9 g/day CI decreased bacterial counts to <3 log10 CFU/mL for 24 to 48 h, followed by regrowth and resistance amplification. Replicate 5 of CW41 had no preexisting subpopulations and was suppressed below ~3 log10 CFU/mL for 120 h by 9 g/day CI, followed by resistant regrowth. Both CI regimens reduced CW35 bacterial counts to <1 log10 CFU/mL by 120 h without regrowth. These results corresponded with the presence or absence of preexisting resistant subpopulations and resistance-associated mutations at baseline. Mutations in ampC, algO, and mexY were identified following CW41 exposure to ceftolozane-tazobactam at 167 to 215 h. Mechanism-based modeling well described total and resistant bacterial counts. The findings highlight the impact of heteroresistance and baseline mutations on the effect of ceftolozane-tazobactam and limitations of MIC to predict bacterial outcomes. The resistance amplification in two of three isolates supports current guidelines that ceftolozane-tazobactam should be utilized together with another antibiotic against P. aeruginosa in CF.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0041423
Number of pages12
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • dynamic in vitro model
  • mechanism-based modeling
  • pharmacodynamics
  • whole-genome sequencing

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