The Interaction Between Gentamicin and Floroquinolones Against ESBL Producing Clinical Isolates of Escherichia coli
The present study evaluated the antimicrobial effect
of different combinations of gentamicin and floroquinolones (ciprofloxacin,
ofloxacin, perfloxacin and gatifloxacin) against extended spectrum beta
lactamase (ESBL) positive E. coli isolates using checkerboard method.
One hundred and four clinical isolates of E. coli obtained from
urine (26), blood (24), stool (20), sputum (19) and semen (14) were investigated
for ESBL production. Fifteen (14.4%) were positive for ESBL production
in the following order: 4(3.8%) from urine, 3(2.8%) from blood, 3(2.8%)
from stool, 3(2.8%) from sputum and 2(1.9%) from semen. Five representative
ESBL positive isolates, one from each specimen, were investigated for
their susceptibility patterns to different gentamicin and floroquinolone
combinations. The combinations of gentamicin and ciprofloxacin, perfloxacin
and gatifloxacin, respectively at different ratios were predominantly
synergistic in activity while gentamicin and ofloxacin combinations were
primarily indifference in activity. These results may have some therapeutic
significance in the management of ESBL infections especially in areas
of the world where ESBL organisms are either emerging or re-emerging.
Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) producing strains of Enterobacteriaceae
have emerged as a major problem in hospitalized as well as community based
patients (Chaudhury and Aggarwal, 2004; Rodriquez-Bano et al.,
2004). The organisms are implicated in infections such as Urinary Tract
Infections (UTI), septicemia, hospital-acquired pneumonia, intra-abdominal
abscess, brain abscess and device related infections. The emergence and
spread of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in intensive care units (ICU)
is said to be due to clonal dissemination of a few epidemic strains as
well as horizontal transmission of resistance gene-carrying plasmids among
bacterial organisms (Wu et al., 2003). The extensive use of oxyimino-cephalosporins
in medical institutions has resulted in diminished susceptibility of some
enterobacteriaceae. This resistance has spread to strains of E. coli
and other gram-negative bacteria (Iroha et al., 2008). The
resistance is probably because of the presence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase
(ESBL) enzyme that was derived from the wide spread TEM-1/2 and SHV-1
Aibinu et al. (2003) suggested the use of aminoglycosides, floroquinolones
and cabapenems in preference to cephalosporins in the treatment of ESBL
infections. Investigations have shown that ESBL enzymes also confer resistance
to other classes of antibiotics (Fashae et al., 2004). Recent studies
have shown however, that ESBL producing organisms have started developing
resistance to the aminoglycosides and floroquinolones, thus posing serious
therapeutic consequences. This study was therefore designed to investigate
the in vitro therapeutic outcome of combining an aminoglycoside
(gentamicin) and some floroquinolones including ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin,
perfloxacin and gatifloxacin at different ratios against E. coli
isolates expressing ESBL enzymes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
One hundred and four clinical isolates of E. coli were collected
from the intensive care unit of Eastern Nigeria Medical Centre Enugu.
The isolates were obtained from urine (26), blood (24), stool (20), sputum
(19) and serum (14). They were subsequently identified and characterized
using standard microbiology techniques (Chessbrough, 2002).
Mueller-Hinton Agar (Oxoid UK) and Nutrient Broth (Fluka) were prepared
according to manufacturer`s specifications.
This was conducted using the disc diffusion method as described by
Bauer et al. (1966). Antibiotics tested were gentamicin (25 μg),
nalidixic acid (25 μg), ceporex (30 μg), ofloxacin (25 μg),
cipofloxacin (25 μg), perfloxacin (25 μg), ampicillin (25 μg),
septrin (25 μg), amikacin (25 μg), ceftazidime (30 μg),
cefotazime (30 μg), ceftriaxone (30 μg) and imipenem (30 μg).
Double Disc Synergy Test
Test isolates showing resistance to any of the 2nd and 3rd generation
cephalosporins were subjected to double disc synergy test studies. Individual
discs containing 30 μg of ceftazidime, ceftriaxone and cefotaxime
were placed on the plate at a distance of 15 mm (edge to edge) from an
amoxicillin/clavulanic acid disc (20-10 μg) placed at the center
of the plate. An enhanced zone of inhibition between any of the β-lactamase
discs and the disc containing clavulanic acid was interpreted as a positive
Preparation of Drug Stock Solution
A stock solution of gentamicin was prepared by dissolving in appropriate
quantity of sterile distilled water to get 10,000 μg mL-1
and stock solutions of perfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin and gatifloxacin
were dissolved in appropriated quantity of sterile distilled water to
get 5,000 μg mL-1. Seven different 2-fold arithmetical
serial dilutions were made with each drug at their stock concentration.
Stock solutions of gentamicin (10,000 μg mL-1), ciprofloxacin,
ofloxacin, gatifloxacin and perfloxacin (5,000 μg mL-1)
were freshly prepared for the evaluation of their combined effects against
five representative ESBL positive E. coli isolate from each specimen.
The two agents were mixed in varying ratios ranging from 0:10 gentamicin
to ciprofloxacin, perfloxacin, ofloxacin and gatifloxacin and 10:0 of
same agents in accordance with the continuous variation checkerboard protocol
(Esimone et al., 1999; Okore, 1990). Each of the eleven combinations
of these five agents was serially diluted (2-fold) with sterile distilled
water. One milliliter of each of the drug combinations was respectively
seeded in a Petri dish together with 19 mL of sterile Mueller Hinton agar
and allowed to stand for 1 h to solidify and for pre-diffusion of the
drugs. An aliquot equivalent to 0.5 Macfarland standard of each selected
ESBL producing E. coli was streaked on the surface of the agar
plates. The set up was conducted in triplicates with a control containing
no antibiotics. They were then incubated at 37°C for 24 h. The MICs
of the various combination proportions were determined and interactions
between the antimicrobial agents were accessed by determining their fractional
inhibitory concentrations (FIC) index according to the relationship.
FIC index = FICA+FICB where A and B are two antimicrobial
agents being combined.
FICA = (MIC of drug A in combination with drug B)/(MIC of drug
FICB = (MIC of drug B in combination with drug A)/(MIC of drug
The activity index (AI) = Log FIC index.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The result of the study revealed that 15 (14.42%) out of 104 clinical
isolates of E. coli screened were positive for ESBL enzyme production.
The highest frequency occurred in urine specimen 4 (3.8%) while the least
occurred in semen 2(1.9%). The ESBL enzyme present is predominantly of
SHV and TEM type. This was inferred from the fact that ceftazidime was
the antibiotic that showed increase in the zone of inhibition above 5
mm towards the combination disc (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid).
The combination interaction studies showed that some ratios of antibiotic
combinations were synergistic while some were additive, antagonistic and
indifference in activity, respectively. The combinations of gentamicin
and gatifloxacin, ciprofloxacin and perfloxacin were predominantly synergistic
(Table 1-3), while that with ofloxacin
were mainly indifference (Table 4). The combination
ratio 8:2 produced the highest synergy (80%) for gatifloxacin combination
and 3:7 and 9:1 for ciprofloxacin combination. A (100%) synergy was recorded
for perfloxacin combinations at the ratio of 1:9 and 6:4. However, the
highest indifference activity of ofloxacin combination was obtained at
|| Activity of gentamicin and gatifloxacin against five
ESBL producers by checkerboard method
|| Combined activity of gentamicin ant ciprofloxacin against
five ESBL producers by checkerboard method
|| Combined activity of gentamicin and perfloxacin against
five ESBL producers by checkerboard method
|| Combined activity of Gentamicin ant ofloxacin against
five ESBL producers by checkerboard method
ESBL producing organisms are known to be resistant to beta lactam antibiotics.
This is because ESBL producers have enzymes with relaxed active site that
can encompass the beta lactam with large side groups protecting the beta
lactam ring, thus making these organisms resistant to virtually all beta
lactam antibiotics. This enzyme have spread world wide with intra and
inter-species transfer being facilitated by plasmid encoded enzymes. The
present study indicated 14.4% prevalence of ESBL producing Escherichia
coli in Enugu, Nigeria. This figure is slightly less than the 16.5%
prevalence reported from Abakaliki, Nigeria (Iroha et al., 2008).
The recovery of ESBL producing E. coli in Enugu, Nigeria could
pose a lot of clinical challenges especially in recent times when antibiotics
other than the beta lactams are reported to develop resistance (Shannon
and French, 2004). This later development is worrisome, since the aminoglycosides
, floroquinolones and cabapenems were hitherto recommended as alternative
to cephalosporins for ESBL producing organisms (Aibinu et al.,
2003). In this connection, the need to search for effective substitute
remedy against ESBL producers remains a major challenge to scientists.
The result of the interaction study in the present study indicated the
predominance of synergy in the combinations of gentamicin and ciprofloxacin,
perfloxacin and gatifloxacin. Hundred percent synergy was recorded for
the gentamicin/perfloxacin combination at the ratios of 1:9 and 6:4 (Table
4). This discovery is very gratifying and brightens the hope for the
remedy search for ESBL enzyme producers.
The synergistic interaction between gentamicin and ciprofloxacin recorded
in this study is in line with the report of Mandal et al. (2003),
in which combination of the two antibiotics produced enhanced activity
against ESBL producing enteric organism. Further, a study carried out
in the United States established that gatifloxacin was synergistic with
beta lactams including piperacillin, cefepime and meropenem and with gentamicin,
against some drug resistant pathogens (Dawis et al., 2003). It
is undoubtable from the result of the present study, that drug combination
could be the longed-for panacea needed for the management of ESBL producing
strains of E. coli and perhaps other organisms. A further study
on the drug interaction against other ESBL producing organisms is hereby
emphasized. In conclusion, the enhanced in vitro activity resulting
from antibiotic combinations in this study could be of immense significance
in the successful treatment of most fatal bacterial diseases. This finding
is particularly vital in the developing nations, where single effective
drugs against ESBL producing organisms are either expensive or unavailable.
Consequently, the establishment of such drug combinations for all the
common ESBL producing microorganisms is at present, a compelling necessity,
if a successful battle against ESBL producers will be achieved.
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