Three Dimensional Checkerboard Synergy Analysis of Colistin, Meropenem, Tigecycline against Multidrug-Resistant Clinical <i>Klebsiella pneumonia</i> Isolates

<div><p>The spread of carbapenem-non-susceptible <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> strains bearing different resistance determinants is a rising problem worldwide. Especially infections with KPC (<i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> carbapenemase) - producers are associated with high mortality rates due to limited treatment options. Recent clinical studies of KPC-blood stream infections revealed that colistin-based combination therapy with a carbapenem and/or tigecycline was associated with significantly decreased mortality rates when compared to colistin monotherapy. However, it remains unclear if these observations can be transferred to <i>K</i>. <i>pneumoniae</i> harboring other mechanisms of carbapenem resistance. A three-dimensional synergy analysis was performed to evaluate the benefits of a triple combination with meropenem, tigecycline and colistin against 20 <i>K</i>. <i>pneumoniae</i> isolates harboring different β-lactamases. To examine the mechanism behind the clinically observed synergistic effect, efflux properties and outer membrane porin (Omp) genes (<i>ompK35</i> and <i>ompK36</i>) were also analyzed. Synergism was found for colistin-based double combinations for strains exhibiting high minimal inhibition concentrations against all of the three antibiotics. Adding a third antibiotic did not result in further increased synergistic effect in these strains. Antagonism did not occur. These results support the idea that colistin-based double combinations might be sufficient and the most effective combination partner for colistin should be chosen according to its MIC.</p></div>