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Penetration of β-lactamase inhibitors into the periplasm of Gram-negative bacteria

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Beverley Degnan


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The effectiveness of a β-lactamase inhibitor/β-lactam combination against Gram-negative pathogens depends on many interplaying factors, one of which is the penetration of the inhibitor across the outer membrane. In this work we have measured the relative penetrations of clavulanic acid, sulbactam, tazobactam and BRL 42715 into two strains of Escherichia coli producing TEM-1 β-lactamase, two strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae producing either TEM-1 or K-1, and two strains of Enterobacter cloacae each producing a Class C β-lactamase. It was shown that clavulanic acid penetrated the outer membranes of all these strains more readily than the other β-lactamase inhibitors. For the strains of E. coli and K. pneumoniae clavulanic acid penetrated approximately 6 to 19 times more effectively than tazobactam, 2 to 9 times more effectively than sulbactam and 4 to 25 times more effectively than BRL 42715. The superior penetration of clavulanic acid observed in this study is likely to contribute to the efficacy of clavulanic acid/β-lactam combinations in combating β-lactam resistant bacterial pathogens.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Farmer TH, Degnan BA, Payne DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: FEMS Microbiology Letters

Year: 1999

Volume: 176

Issue: 1

Pages: 11-15

Print publication date: 01/07/1999

ISSN (print): 0378-1097

ISSN (electronic): 1574-6968

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1999.tb13635.x

PubMed id: 10418127


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