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In Vitro Efficacy of Gentamicin Alone and in Combination with Ceftriaxone, Ertapenem, and Azithromycin against Multidrug-Resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae

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October 20, 2021

Xuechun Li, Wenjing Le, Xiangdi Lou, Biwei Wang, Caroline A Genco , Peter A Rice, Xiaohong Su

Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Oct 20;e0018121. doi: 10.1128/Spectrum.00181-21. Online ahead of print.
PMID: 34668731 | DOI: 10.1128/Spectrum.00181-21


This study was conducted to determine the in vitro activities of gentamicin alone and in combination with ceftriaxone, ertapenem, and azithromycin against multidrug-resistant (MDR) Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates. A total of 407 clinical isolates from Nanjing, China, obtained in 2016 to 2017, had MICs determined for gentamicin using the agar dilution method. MDR status was ascribed to 97 strains that displayed decreased susceptibility or resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESCs) (ceftriaxone [MIC, ≥0.125 mg/liter] and cefixime [MIC, ≥0.25 mg/liter]), plus resistance to at least two of the following antimicrobials: penicillin (MIC, ≥2 mg/liter), ciprofloxacin (MIC, ≥1 mg/liter), and azithromycin (MIC, ≥1 mg/liter). MDR strains underwent MIC determinations for antimicrobial combinations using the antimicrobial gradient epsilometer test (Etest). Results that ranged from synergy to antagonism were interpreted using the fractional inhibitory concentration (FICI). All 407 gonococcal isolates were susceptible to gentamicin; MICs ranged from 2 mg/liter to 16 mg/liter. Synergy was demonstrated in 16.5% (16/97), 27.8% (27/97), and 8.2% (8/97) of MDR strains when gentamicin was combined with ceftriaxone (geometric mean [GM] FICI, 0.747), ertapenem (GM FICI, 0.662), and azithromycin (GM FICI, 1.021), respectively. No antimicrobial antagonism was observed with any combination tested against MDR strains; overall, antimicrobial combinations were indifferent. The GM MICs of gentamicin were reduced by 2.63-, 3.80-, and 1.98-fold when tested in combination with ceftriaxone, ertapenem, and azithromycin, respectively. The GM MICs of the three additional antimicrobials individually were reduced by 3-, 2.57-, and 1.98-fold, respectively, when each was tested in combination with gentamicin. Gentamicin alone was effective in vitro against N. gonorrhoeae, including MDR isolates. Combination testing of MDR strains showed lower MICs against gentamicin and each of three antimicrobials (ceftriaxone, ertapenem, and azithromycin) when used in combination.

IMPORTANCE Antimicrobial-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a major global public health concern. New treatment options are urgently needed to successfully treat multidrug-resistant (MDR) Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections. This study showed that gentamicin maintained excellent in vitro susceptibility against clinical gonococcal isolates collected in 2016 and 2017, including MDR isolates. Combinations of gentamicin plus ertapenem, ceftriaxone, and azithromycin produced synergistic effects against certain MDR isolates. No antagonism was observed in any of the antimicrobial combinations, which may prove useful to guide clinical testing of combination therapies.

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34668731/