Meropenem Combined with Ciprofloxacin Combats Hypermutable Pseudomonas aeruginosa from Respiratory Infections of Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Vanessa E Rees, Rajbharan Yadav, Kate E Rogers, Jurgen B Bulitta, Veronika Wirth, Antonio Oliver, John D Boyce, Anton Y Peleg, Roger L Nation, Cornelia B Landersdorfer

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Hypermutable Pseudomonas aeruginosa organisms are prevalent in chronic respiratory infections and have been associated with reduced lung function in cystic fibrosis (CF); these isolates can become resistant to all antibiotics in monotherapy. This study aimed to evaluate the time course of bacterial killing and resistance of meropenem and ciprofloxacin in combination against hypermutable and nonhypermutable P. aeruginosa Static concentration time-kill experiments over 72 h assessed meropenem and ciprofloxacin in mono- and combination therapies against PAO1 (nonhypermutable), PAOΔmutS (hypermutable), and hypermutable isolates CW8, CW35, and CW44 obtained from CF patients with chronic respiratory infections. Meropenem (1 or 2 g every 8 h [q8h] as 3-h infusions and 3 g/day as a continuous infusion) and ciprofloxacin (400 mg q8h as 1-h infusions) in monotherapies and combinations were further evaluated in an 8-day hollow-fiber infection model study (HFIM) against CW44. Concentration-time profiles in lung epithelial lining fluid reflecting the pharmacokinetics in CF patients were simulated and counts of total and resistant bacteria determined. All data were analyzed by mechanism-based modeling (MBM). In the HFIM, all monotherapies resulted in rapid regrowth with resistance at 48 h. The maximum daily doses of 6 g meropenem (T>MIC of 80% to 88%) and 1.2 g ciprofloxacin (area under the concentration-time curve over 24 h in the steady state divided by the MIC [AUC/MIC], 176), both given intermittently, in monotherapy failed to suppress regrowth and resulted in substantial emergence of resistance (≥7.6 log10 CFU/ml resistant populations). The combination of these regimens achieved synergistic killing and suppressed resistance. MBM with subpopulation and mechanistic synergy yielded unbiased and precise curve fits. Thus, the combination of 6 g/day meropenem plus ciprofloxacin holds promise for future clinical evaluation against infections by susceptible hypermutable P. aeruginosa.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01150-18
Number of pages12
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • antibiotic resistance
  • carbapenem
  • combination therapy
  • epithelial lining fluid
  • fluoroquinolone
  • hypermutation
  • mechanism-based modeling
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics

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