In vitro selection of ceftazidime-avibactam resistance in enterobacteriaceae with KPC-3 carbapenemase

David Livermore*, Marina Warner, Dorota Jamrozy, Shazad Mushtaq, Wright W. Nichols, Nazim Mustafa, Neil Woodford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Ceftazidime-avibactam is active against most Enterobacteriaceae isolates with KPC carbapenemases. We investigated whether this activity could be compromised by mutation. Single-step and multistep selections were attempted using ceftazidime-avibactam (avibactam fixed at 1 or 4 μg/ml) versus two strains each of Enterobacter cloacae and Klebsiella pneumoniae, all with the KPC-3 enzyme. Mutant blaKPC alleles were sequenced, and their parentage was confirmed by typing. Ceftazidime-avibactam selected mutants at up to 16× MIC, with frequencies of ca. 10-9 . This contrasted with previous experience for ceftaroline-avibactam, where mutant frequencies under similar conditions were <10-9 . The MICs of ceftazidime with 1 μg/ml avibactam for the ceftazidime-avibactam-selected mutants rose from 1 to 8 μg/ml to 16 to >256 μg/ml and those of ceftazidime with 4 μg/ml avibactam from 0.25 to 1 μg/ml to 4 to 128 μg/ml; ceftaroline-avibactam MICs rose less, typically from 0.5 to 1 μg/ml to 1 to 8 μg/ml. The MICs of carbapenems and cephalosporins except ceftazidime and piperacillin-tazobactam were reduced for many mutants. Sequencing of blaKPC revealed point and insertion changes in 12/13 mutants investigated, representing all four parents; one mutant lacked blaKPC changes and possibly had reduced permeability. Amino acid changes commonly involved Ω loop alterations or 1 to 6 amino acid insertions immediately C-terminal to this loop. The most frequent change, seen in four mutants from three strains, was Asp179Tyr, replacing a residue that ordinarily forms a salt bridge to stabilize the Ω loop. Since ceftarolineavibactam was less affected than ceftazidime-avibactam, we postulate that these mutations increase ceftazidimase specificity rather than conferring avibactam resistance. The clinical relevance remains uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5324-5330
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

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