Colistin Versus Ceftazidime-Avibactam in the Treatment of Infections Due to Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae

Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Jan 6;66(2):163-171. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix783.


Background: The efficacy of ceftazidime-avibactam-a cephalosporin-β-lactamase inhibitor combination with in vitro activity against Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)-compared with colistin remains unknown.

Methods: Patients initially treated with either ceftazidime-avibactam or colistin for CRE infections were selected from the Consortium on Resistance Against Carbapenems in Klebsiella and other Enterobacteriaceae (CRACKLE), a prospective, multicenter, observational study. Efficacy, safety, and benefit-risk analyses were performed using intent-to-treat analyses with partial credit and the desirability of outcome ranking approaches. The ordinal efficacy outcome was based on disposition at day 30 after starting treatment (home vs not home but not observed to die in the hospital vs hospital death). All analyses were adjusted for confounding using inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW).

Results: Thirty-eight patients were treated first with ceftazidime-avibactam and 99 with colistin. Most patients received additional anti-CRE agents as part of their treatment. Bloodstream (n = 63; 46%) and respiratory (n = 30; 22%) infections were most common. In patients treated with ceftazidime-avibactam versus colistin, IPTW-adjusted all-cause hospital mortality 30 days after starting treatment was 9% versus 32%, respectively (difference, 23%; 95% bootstrap confidence interval, 9%-35%; P = .001). In an analysis of disposition at 30 days, patients treated with ceftazidime-avibactam, compared with those treated within colistin, had an IPTW-adjusted probability of a better outcome of 64% (95% confidence interval, 57%-71%). Partial credit analyses indicated uniform superiority of ceftazidime-avibactam to colistin.

Conclusions: Ceftazidime-avibactam may be a reasonable alternative to colistin in the treatment of K. pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing CRE infections. These findings require confirmation in a randomized controlled trial.

Keywords: Klebsiella pneumoniae; benefit-risk; carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae; ceftazidime-avibactam; colistin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Azabicyclo Compounds / adverse effects
  • Azabicyclo Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae / drug effects
  • Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification*
  • Ceftazidime / adverse effects
  • Ceftazidime / therapeutic use*
  • Colistin / adverse effects
  • Colistin / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • beta-Lactamase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • beta-Lactamase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Azabicyclo Compounds
  • Drug Combinations
  • avibactam, ceftazidime drug combination
  • beta-Lactamase Inhibitors
  • Ceftazidime
  • Colistin