The prevalence of carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacterial pathogens (CRGNs) has increased dramatically during the last 10 years, but the optimal treatment for CRGN infections is not well established due to the relative scarcity of robust clinical data. The polymyxins remain the most consistently active agents against CRGNs in vitro. Tigecycline, based on its in vitro antibacterial spectrum, could also be considered as a therapeutic option in the treatment of infections caused by certain CRGNs. Other agents, including aminoglycosides, rifampin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, fosfomycin and fluoroquinolones, could be considered as monotherapy or combination therapy against CRGNs in appropriate contexts, as combination therapy with two or more in vitro active drugs appears to be more effective than monotherapy based on some clinical data. Several promising new agents are in late-stage clinical development, including ceftolozane-tazobactam, ceftazidime-avibactam and plazomicin. Given the shortage of adequate treatment options, containment of CRGNs should be pursued through implementation of adequate infection prevention procedures and antimicrobial stewardship to reduce the disease burden and prevent future outbreaks of CRGNs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)