Comparative in vitro activity of piperacillin, piperacillin-sulbactam and piperacillin-tazobactam against nosocomial pathogens isolated from intensive care patients

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 Nov;9(11):1128-32. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-0691.2003.00786.x.


We investigated the antimicrobial activity of piperacillin-tazobactam versus piperacillin-sulbactam against common nosocomial pathogens (n = 565) isolated from intensive care patients. For Gram-positive bacteria, antimicrobial susceptibilities to the two piperacillin-beta-lactamase inhibitor combinations were almost identical. For Gram-negative bacteria, piperacillin-tazobactam exhibited greater activity against Escherichia coli and Proteus vulgaris than piperacillin-sulbactam. Both combinations, however, were equally effective against the other Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. Piperacillin-sulbactam exhibited better antimicrobial activity against Acinetobacter baumannii. Our findings might prove important for the appropriate choice of antibiotic therapy with beta-lactam-beta-lactamase inhibitor combinations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Penicillanic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Penicillanic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Piperacillin / pharmacology*
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination
  • Sulbactam / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination
  • Penicillanic Acid
  • Sulbactam
  • Piperacillin