We characterized carbapenem resistance mechanisms among 12 Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing K. pneumoniae (referred to here as KPC K. pneumoniae) clinical isolates and evaluated their effects on the activity of 2-and 3-drug combinations of colistin, doripenem, and ertapenem. All isolates were resistant to ertapenem and doripenem; 75% (9/12) were resistant to colistin. Isolates belonged to the ST258 clonal group and harbored blaKPC-2, blaSHV-12, and blaTEM-1. As determined by time-kill assays, doripenem (8 μg/ml) and ertapenem (2 μg/ml) were inactive against 92% (11/12) and 100% (12/12) of isolates, respectively. Colistin (2.5 μg/ml) exerted some activity (range, 0.39 to 2.5 log10) against 78% (7/9) of colistin-resistant isolates. Colistin-ertapenem, colistin-doripenem, and colistin-doripenem-ertapenem exhibited synergy against 42% (5/12), 50% (6/12), and 67% (8/12) of isolates, respectively. Expression of ompK35 and ompK36 porins correlated with each other (R2= 0.80). Levels of porin expression did not correlate with colistin-doripenem or colistin-ertapenem synergy. However, synergy with colistin-doripenem- ertapenem was more likely against isolates with high porin expression than those with low expression (100% [8/8] versus 0% [0/4]; P=0.002). Moreover, bactericidal activity (area under the bacterial killing curve) against isolates with high porin expression was greater for colistin-doripenem-ertapenem than colistin-doripenem or colistin-ertapenem (P < 0.049). In conclusion, colistin-carbapenem combinations may provide optimal activity against KPC K. pneumoniae, including colistin-resistant isolates. Screening for porin expression may identify isolates that are most likely to respond to a triple combination of colistin-doripenem-ertapenem. In the future, molecular characterization of KPC K. pneumoniae isolates may be a practical tool for identifying effective combination regimens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases