In vitro antimicrobial activity of "last-resort" antibiotics against unusual nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli clinical isolates

Microb Drug Resist. 2012 Aug;18(4):396-401. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2011.0195. Epub 2012 Feb 15.


In this prospective multicentric study, we assessed the in vitro antimicrobial activity of carbapenems (imipenem, meropenem, and doripenem), tigecycline, and colistin against 166 unusual nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli (NF-GNB) clinical isolates collected from nine French hospitals during a 6-month period (from December 1, 2008, to May 31, 2009). All NF-GNB isolates were included, except those phenotypically identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Acinetobacter baumannii. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antimicrobial agents were determined by using the E-test technique. The following microorganisms were identified: Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (n=72), Pseudomonas spp. (n=30), Achromobacter xylosoxidans (n=25), Acinetobacter spp. (n=18), Burkholderia cepacia complex (n=9), Alcaligenes faecalis (n=7), and Delftia spp. (n=5). All isolates of Acinetobacter spp., A. faecalis, and Delftia spp. were susceptible to the three carbapenems. Imipenem exhibited the lowest MICs against Pseudomonas spp., and meropenem, as compared with imipenem and doripenem, displayed an interesting antimicrobial activity against A. xylosoxidans and B. cepacia complex isolates. Conversely, no carbapenem exhibited any activity against S. maltophilia. Except for S. maltophilia isolates, tigecycline and colistin exhibited higher MICs than carbapenems, but covered most of the microorganisms tested in this study. To our knowledge, no prior study has compared antimicrobial activity of these five antibiotics, often considered as "last-resort" treatment options for resistant Gram-negative infections, against unusual NF-GNB clinical isolates. Further studies should be carried out to assess the potential clinical use of these antibiotics for the treatment of infections due to these microorganisms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Carbapenems / pharmacology*
  • Colistin / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / genetics
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Minocycline / analogs & derivatives*
  • Minocycline / pharmacology
  • Tigecycline


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Carbapenems
  • Tigecycline
  • Minocycline
  • Colistin