The antibiotic crisis has reinstated polymyxins, once abandoned because of their toxicity. Now, preclinical studies have revealed better tolerated and more effective derivatives of polymyxins such as NAB739. Simultaneously, polymyxin-resistant (PMR) strains such as the mcr-1 strains have received lots of justified publicity, even though they are still very rare. Here we show that NAB739 sensitizes the PMR strains to rifampin, a classic "anti-Gram-positive" antibiotic excluded by the intact outer membrane (OM) permeability barrier, as well as to retapamulin, the surrogate of lefamulin, an antibiotic under development against Gram-positive bacteria. Polymyxin B was used as a comparator. The combination of NAB739 and rifampin was synergistic against ten out of eleven PMR strains of Escherichia coli (Fractional Synergy Indices, FICs, 0.14-0.19) and that of NAB739 and retapamulin against all the tested eleven strains (FICs 0.19-0.25). Against PMR Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 7), the FICs were 0.13-0.27 for NAB739 + rifampin and 0.14-0.28 for NAB739+retapamulin. Against Acinetobacter baumannii (n = 2), the combination of NAB739 and rifampin had the FIC of 0.09-0.19. Furthermore, NAB739 and meropenem were synergistic (FICs 0.25-0.50) against four out of five PMR strains that were simultaneously resistant to meropenem.
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- Acinetobacter baumannii/drug effects
- Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
- Bacteria/drug effects
- Drug Synergism
- Escherichia coli/drug effects
- Klebsiella pneumoniae/drug effects
- Polymyxin B/pharmacology