Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Based Breakpoints of Polymyxin B for Bloodstream Infections Caused by Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Pathogens

Xingchen Bian, Xiaofen Liu, Fupin Hu, Meiqing Feng, Yuancheng Chen, Phillip J. Bergen, Jian Li, Xin Li, Yan Guo, Jing Zhang

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The latest PK/PD findings have demonstrated negligible efficacy of intravenous polymyxins against pulmonary infections. We investigated pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD)-based breakpoints of polymyxin B for bloodstream infections and the rationality of the recent withdrawal of polymyxin susceptibility breakpoints by the CLSI. Polymyxin B pharmacokinetic data were obtained from a phase I clinical trial in healthy Chinese subjects and population pharmacokinetic parameters were employed to determine the exposure of polymyxin B at steady state. MICs of 1,431 recent clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae collected from across China were determined. Monte-Carlo simulations were performed for various dosing regimens (0.42–1.5 mg/kg/12 h via 1 or 2-h infusion). The probability of target attainment, PK/PD breakpoints and cumulative fraction of response were determined for each bacterial species. MIC90 of polymyxin B was 1 mg/L for P. aeruginosa and 0.5 mg/L for A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae. With the recommended polymyxin B dose of 1.5–2.5 mg/kg/day, the PK/PD susceptible breakpoints for P. aeruginosa, A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae were 2, 1 and 1 mg/L respectively for bloodstream infection. For Chinese patients, polymyxin B dosing regimens of 0.75–1.5 mg/kg/12 h for P. aeruginosa and 1–1.5 mg/kg/12 h for A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae were appropriate. Breakpoint determination should consider the antimicrobial PK/PD at infection site and delivery route. The recent withdrawal of polymyxin susceptible breakpoint by CLSI primarily based on poor efficacy against lung infections needs to be reconsidered for bloodstream infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number785893
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2022


  • bloodstream infection
  • Monte-Carlo simulation
  • PK/PD analysis
  • polymyxin B
  • susceptibility breakpoint

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