Objectives: Two β-lactams, cefoxitin and imipenem, are part of the reference treatment for pulmonary infections with Mycobacterium abscessus. M. abscessus has recently been shown to produce a broad-spectrum β-lactamase, BlaMab, indicating that the combination of β-lactams with a BlaMab inhibitor may improve treatment efficacy. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the impact of BlaMab production on the efficacy of β-lactams in vitro and to assess the benefit of BlaMab inhibition on the activity of β-lactams intracellularly and in an animal model.
Methods: We analysed the mechanism and kinetics of BlaMab inactivation by avibactam, a non-β-lactam β-lactamase inhibitor currently in Phase III of development, in combination with ceftazidime for the treatment of serious infections due to Gram-negative bacteria. We then deleted the gene encoding BlaMab to assess the extent of BlaMab inhibition by avibactam based on a comparison of the impact of chemical and genetic inactivation. Finally, the efficacy of amoxicillin in combination with avibactam was evaluated in cultured human macrophages and in a zebrafish model of M. abscessus infection.
Results: We showed that avibactam efficiently inactivated BlaMab via the reversible formation of a covalent adduct. An inhibition of BlaMab by avibactam was observed in both infected macrophages and zebrafish.
Conclusions: Our data identify avibactam as the first efficient inhibitor of BlaMab and strongly suggest that β-lactamase inhibition should be evaluated to provide improved therapeutic options for M. abscessus infections.
Keywords: M. abscessus; cystic fibrosis; non-tuberculous mycobacteria; therapy; β-lactams.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.