In Vitro Synergy of Telavancin and Rifampin Against Enterococcus faecium Resistant to Both Linezolid and Vancomycin

Ochsner J. 2013 Spring;13(1):61-5.


Background: An emerging pathogen is Enterococcus faecium resistant to both linezolid and vancomycin (LRVRE). Antimicrobial combinations may be required for therapy and need to be evaluated. The combination of daptomycin and rifampin has demonstrated good in vitro activity against gram-positive bacteria, including E faecium. Telavancin, a newer lipoglycopeptide, has shown in vitro activity against E faecium. We evaluated the combination of telavancin and rifampin and compared the results to the combination of daptomycin and rifampin used previously on the same isolates.

Methods: Twenty-four genetically unique (by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis), clinical LRVRE isolates were collected in the United States from 2001-2004. Etest minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) (μg/mL) were 0.064-8 for telavancin, 1-4 for daptomycin, and 0.012 to >32 for rifampin. In vitro synergy testing was performed in triplicate by an Etest MIC:MIC ratio method, and summation fractional inhibitory concentration (ΣFIC) was calculated: synergy ≤0.5; indifference >0.5-4; and antagonism >4.

Results: The Etest method showed synergy (ΣFICs of 0.1-0.5) with telavancin + rifampin in 20/24 (83%) isolates and indifference (ΣFICs of 0.6-0.8) in 4/24 (17%) isolates. Similarly, the daptomycin + rifampin combination showed synergy (ΣFICs of 0.1-0.5) in 21/24 (88%) isolates and indifference (ΣFICs of 0.6-1.0) in 3/24 (12%) isolates by the Etest method. No antagonism was found.

Conclusions: In vitro synergy with both combinations (rifampin + telavancin or daptomycin) was 83% and 88%, respectively, by Etest against these LRVRE isolates. Although both daptomycin and telavancin in combination with rifampin showed a high incidence of synergistic activity, further in vitro synergy testing with this combination should be performed against additional E faecium isolates. In vitro synergy may or may not translate into in vivo effectiveness.

Keywords: Daptomycin; Enterococcus faecium; Etest; rifampin; synergy; telavancin.