Antimicrobial Activity of Fosfomycin-Tobramycin Combination against Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolates Assessed by Time-Kill Assays and Mutant Prevention Concentrations

Diez-Aguilar M., Isabel Morosini M., Tedim A. P., Rodriguez I., Aktas Z., Canton R.

ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS AND CHEMOTHERAPY, vol.59, no.10, pp.6039-6045, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1128/aac.00822-15
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.6039-6045
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The antibacterial activity of fosfomycin-tobramycin combination was studied by time-kill assay in eight Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates belonging to the fosfomycin wild-type population (MIC = 64 mu g/ml) but with different tobramycin susceptibilities (MIC range, 1 to 64 mu g/ml). The mutant prevention concentration (MPC) and mutant selection window (MSW) were determined in five of these strains (tobramycin MIC range, 1 to 64 mu g/ml) in aerobic and anaerobic conditions simulating environments that are present in biofilm-mediated infections. Fosfomycin-tobramycin was synergistic and bactericidal for the isolates with mutations in the mexZ repressor gene, with a tobramycin MIC of 4 mu g/ml. This effect was not observed in strains displaying tobramycin MICs of 1 to 2 mu g/ml due to the strong bactericidal effect of tobramycin alone. Fosfomycin presented higher MPC values (range, 2,048 to > 2,048 mu g/ml) in aerobic and anaerobic conditions than did tobramycin (range, 16 to 256 mu g/ml). Interestingly, the association rendered narrow or even null MSWs in the two conditions. However, for isolates with high-level tobramycin resistance that harbored aminoglycoside nucleotidyltransferases, time-kill assays showed no synergy, with wide MSWs in the two environments. glpT gene mutations responsible for fosfomycin resistance in P. aeruginosa were determined in fosfomycin-susceptible wild-type strains and mutant derivatives recovered from MPC studies. All mutant derivatives had changes in the GlpT amino acid sequence, which resulted in a truncated permease responsible for fosfomycin resistance. These results suggest that fosfomycin-tobramycin can be an alternative for infections due to P. aeruginosa since it has demonstrated synergistic and bactericidal activity in susceptible isolates and those with low-level tobramycin resistance. It also prevents the emergence of resistant mutants in either aerobic or anaerobic environments.