Simulated Intravenous versus Inhaled Tobramycin with or without Intravenous Ceftazidime Evaluated against Hypermutable Pseudomonas aeruginosa via a Dynamic Biofilm Model and Mechanism-Based Modeling

Hajira Bilal, Jessica R. Tait, Yinzhi Lang, Jieqiang Zhou, Phillip J. Bergen, Anton Y. Peleg, Jürgen B. Bulitta, Antonio Oliver, Roger L. Nation, Cornelia B. Landersdorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Acute exacerbations of chronic respiratory infections in patients with cystic fibrosis are highly challenging due to hypermutable Pseudomonas aeruginosa, biofilm formation and resistance emergence. We aimed to systematically evaluate the effects of intravenous versus inhaled tobramycin (TOB) with and without intravenous ceftazidime (CAZ). Two hypermutable P. aeruginosa isolates, CW30 (MICCAZ, 0.5 mg/liter; MICTOB, 2 mg/liter) and CW8 (MICCAZ, 2 mg/liter; MICTOB, 8 mg/liter), were investigated for 120 h in dynamic in vitro biofilm studies. Treatments were intravenous ceftazidime, 9 g/day (33% lung fluid penetration); intravenous tobramycin, 10 mg/kg of body every 24 h (50% lung fluid penetration); inhaled tobramycin, 300 mg every 12 h; and both ceftazidime- tobramycin combinations. Total and less susceptible planktonic and biofilm bacteria were quantified over 120 h. Mechanism-based modeling was performed. All monotherapies were ineffective for both isolates, with regrowth of planktonic (≥4.7 log10 CFU/ml) and biofilm (>3.8 log10 CFU/cm2) bacteria and resistance amplification by 120 h. Both combination treatments demonstrated synergistic or enhanced bacterial killing of planktonic and biofilm bacteria. With the combination simulating tobramycin inhalation, planktonic bacterial counts of the two isolates at 120 h were 0.47% and 36% of those for the combination with intravenous tobramycin; for biofilm bacteria the corresponding values were 8.2% and 13%. Combination regimens achieved substantial suppression of resistance of planktonic and biofilm bacteria compared to each antibiotic in monotherapy for both isolates. Mechanism-based modeling well described all planktonic and biofilm counts and indicated synergy of the combination regimens despite reduced activity of tobramycin in biofilm. Combination regimens of inhaled tobramycin with ceftazidime hold promise to treat acute exacerbations caused by hypermutable P. aeruginosa strains and warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02203-21
Number of pages16
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • dosage regimen optimization
  • dynamic infection model
  • mathematical modeling
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Cite this