Investigation of the clinical breakpoints of piperacillin-tazobactam against infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa

J Infect Chemother. 2012 Feb;18(1):127-9. doi: 10.1007/s10156-011-0285-3. Epub 2011 Aug 4.


The pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics (PK-PD) breakpoint of piperacillin/tazobactam (PIPC/TAZ) for hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced bacteremia is controversial, since the susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to PIPC/TAZ is known to be lower than that set by the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), ≤64 mg/L. The association between MIC levels and bacterial eradication after various PIPC/TAZ treatments was investigated. In all, 61 and 17 Japanese patients from the microbiology laboratory database with HAP and P. aeruginosa-induced bacteremia, respectively, who were treated with PIPC/TAZ (4.5 g, b.i.d., t.i.d., or q.i.d.) between 2008 and 2009 were retrospectively analyzed. Pertinent clinical data were retrieved from medical records. The MIC level was determined using the microdilution method. Appropriate empirical therapy with PIPC/TAZ was selected for all patients within 24 h of positive culture results. The microbiological effect after treatment was used to determine the efficacy of each PIPC/TAZ administration method. In PIPC/TAZ-treated HAP patients (4.5 g, t.i.d.), the microbiological efficacy was 93.3% (28/30) when the MIC was ≤16 mg/L, while it was 50.0 (5/9) and 0% (0/3) with MICs of 32 (p < 0.05) and 64 mg/L, respectively. In PIPC/TAZ-treated bacteremia patients (4.5 g, t.i.d. or q.i.d.), the microbiological efficacy was 100% (11/11) when the MIC was <16 mg/L, while it was 33.3 (1/3) and 0% (0/3) with MICs of 32 (p < 0.05) and ≥64 mg/L, respectively. The present CLSI susceptibility breakpoints do not necessarily predict clinical outcomes. The appropriateness evaluation of the current CLSI resistance breakpoint of PIPC/TAZ and the PK-PD breakpoint determination warrant further studies.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Penicillanic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Penicillanic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Penicillanic Acid / pharmacology
  • Piperacillin / pharmacokinetics
  • Piperacillin / pharmacology
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Retrospective Studies


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