A prospective evaluation of synergistic effect of sulbactam and tazobactam combination with meropenem or colistin against multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii

  • Mohammed Ali M.Marie
  • Lakshmana Gowda Krishnappa Clinical Laboratory Sciences Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Alhusain J. Alzahrani Clinical Laboratory Sciences Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Murad A. Mubaraki Clinical Laboratory Sciences Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Abdullah A. Alyousef Clinical Laboratory Sciences Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii, additive, meropenem, synergy, sulbactam, tazobactam


The present study evaluates the synergistic effect of sulbactam/tazobactam in combination with meropenem or colistin against multidrug resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from hospitalized patients from a tertiary care hospital in Saudi Arabia. During the study period, 54 multidrug and carbapenem-resistant isolates of A. baumannii isolates were collected from blood and respiratory samples of patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia or bacteremia. Microbroth checkerboard assay (CBA) and E-test were performed to look for synergistic interface of sulbactam and tazobactam with meropenem or colistin. All 54 MDR isolates of A. baumannii were resistant to carbapenem. Minimum inhibitory concentration [50/90] value against sulbactam, tazobactam, meropenem, colistin was found to be 64/128, 64/128, 64/256, and 0.5/1.0 respectively. Synergy was detected in more isolates with CBA compared to E-test. All four combinations showed significant synergistic bactericidal activity. However, the combination with colistin showed greater synergistic effect than combination with meropenem. Antagonism was not detected with any of the combinations and any method, but indifference was seen in tazobactam and colistin combination alone. A significant bactericidal effect was seen with sulbactam combination with meropenem or colistin in both methods. A combination therapy can be a choice of treatment. As colistin is known to exhibit nephrotoxicity, the combination of sulbactam and meropenem might be considered as an alternative antibiotic treatment for such multi- and extremely resistant bacteria. Yet, sample size is small in our study, so further well-designed in vitro and clinical studies on large scale should confirm our findings.


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How to Cite
Ali M.Marie M, Gowda Krishnappa L, J. Alzahrani A, A. Mubaraki M, A. Alyousef A. A prospective evaluation of synergistic effect of sulbactam and tazobactam combination with meropenem or colistin against multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Bosn J of Basic Med Sci [Internet]. 2015Oct.14 [cited 2019Mar.24];15(4):24-9. Available from: https://www.bjbms.org/ojs/index.php/bjbms/article/view/526