Potentiation of #betalactam #antibiotics and β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations against #MDR and #XDR #Pseudomonas aeruginosa using non-ribosomal #tobramycin–cyclam conjugates (J Antimicrob Chemother., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Potentiation of β-lactam antibiotics and β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations against MDR and XDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa using non-ribosomal tobramycin–cyclam conjugates

Temilolu Idowu, Derek Ammeter, Gilbert Arthur, George G Zhanel, Frank Schweizer

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, dkz228, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkz228

Published: 28 May 2019




To develop a multifunctional adjuvant molecule that can rescue β-lactam antibiotics and β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations from resistance in carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates.


Preparation of adjuvant was guided by structure–activity relationships, following standard protocols. Susceptibility and chequerboard studies were assessed using serial 2-fold dilution assays. Toxicity was evaluated against porcine erythrocytes, human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells and liver carcinoma (HepG2) cells via MTS assay. Preliminary in vivo efficacy was evaluated using a Galleria mellonella infection model.


Conjugation of tobramycin and cyclam abrogates the ribosomal effects of tobramycin but confers a potent adjuvant property that restores full antibiotic activity of meropenem and aztreonam against carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa. Therapeutic levels of susceptibility, as determined by CLSI susceptibility breakpoints, were attained in several MDR clinical isolates, and time–kill assays revealed a synergistic dose-dependent pharmacodynamic relationship. A triple combination of the adjuvant with ceftazidime/avibactam (approved), aztreonam/avibactam (Phase III) and meropenem/avibactam enhances the efficacies of β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors against recalcitrant strains, suggesting rapid access of the combination to their periplasmic targets. The newly developed adjuvants, and their combinations, were non-haemolytic and non-cytotoxic, and preliminary in vivo evaluation in G. mellonella suggests therapeutic potential for the double and triple combinations.


Non-ribosomal tobramycin–cyclam conjugate mitigates the effect of OprD/OprF porin loss in P. aeruginosa and potentiates β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors against carbapenem-resistant clinical isolates, highlighting the complexity of resistance to β-lactam antibiotics. Our strategy presents an avenue to further preserve the therapeutic utility of β-lactam antibiotics.

Topic: antibiotics – pseudomonas aeruginosa – immunologic adjuvants – pharmaceutical adjuvants – aztreonam – ceftazidime – lactams – ribosomes – infection – tobramycin – meropenem – toxic effect – potentiation – avibactam – carbapenem resistance


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Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Carbapenem; Beta-lactams; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Tobramycin; Aztreonam; Avibactam; Ceftazidime.