NYMC Faculty Publications

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Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

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Epidemiology and Community Health


In vivo induction of AmpC beta-lactamases produces high-level resistance to many beta-lactam antibiotics in Enterobacteriaceae, often resulting in the need to use carbapenems or cefepime (FEP). The clinical effectiveness of piperacillin-tazobactam (TZP), a weak inducer of AmpC beta-lactamases, is poorly understood. Here, we conducted a case-control study of adult inpatients with bloodstream infections (BSIs) due to Enterobacter, Serratia, or Citrobacter species from 2009 to 2015 to assess outcomes following treatment with TZP compared to FEP or meropenem (MEM). We collected clinical data and screened all isolates for the presence of ampC alleles by PCR. Primary study outcomes were 30-day mortality and persistent bacteremia at >/=72 h from the time of treatment initiation. Of 493 patients with bacteremia, 165 patients met the inclusion criteria, of which 88 were treated with TZP and 77 with FEP or MEM. To minimize differences between covariates, we carried out propensity score matching, which yielded 41 matched pairs. Groups only differed by age, with patients in the TZP group significantly older (P = 0.012). There were no significant differences in 30-day mortality, persistent bacteremia, 7-day mortality, or treatment escalation between the two treatment groups, including in the propensity score-matched cohort. PCR amplification and sequencing of ampC genes revealed the presence of ampC in isolates with cefoxitin MICs below 16 mug/ml, in particular in Serratia spp., and demonstrated that these alleles were highly genetically diverse. Taken together, TZP may be a valuable treatment option for BSIs due to AmpC beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, diminishing the need for broader-spectrum agents. Future studies are needed to validate these findings.