Carbapenem-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria-Related Healthcare-Associated Ventriculitis and Meningitis: Antimicrobial Resistance of the Pathogens, Treatment, and Outcome

Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Jun 29;10(3):e0025322. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.00253-22. Epub 2022 Apr 25.


Carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (CRGNB)-related health care-associated ventriculitis and meningitis (HCAVM) is dangerous. We aimed to report the antimicrobial resistance of the pathogens, treatment, and outcome. All cases with CRGNB-related HCAVM in2012-2020 were recruited. Antimicrobial agents were classified as active, untested, or inactive using antimicrobial susceptibility tests. The treatment stage was classified as empirical or targeted according to the report of pathogens. The treatment effect was classified as ineffective or effective according to HCAVM-related parameters. Overall, 92 cases were recruited. For most antimicrobial agents, the resistance rate was higher than 70.0%. The polymyxin resistance rate was the lowest at 11.6%. The chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, amikacin, levofloxacin, and tetracycline resistance rates were relatively low, ranging from 21.1% to 64.1%. The meropenem resistance rate was 81.9%. There was no significant trend for any antimicrobial agent tested. Meropenem was the most common antimicrobial agent used in empirical treatment; trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and polymyxin were the most used active antimicrobial agents, and meropenem/sulbactam and polymyxin were the most used untested antimicrobial agents in targeted treatment. In total, 42 (45.7%) cases received ineffective treatments. The ineffective treatment rate of cases that received active antimicrobial agents was lower than that of cases that received untested antimicrobial agents and cases that received inactive antimicrobial agents (29.3% [12/41] versus 46.2% [18/39] versus 100.0% [12/12], P < 0.001). Antimicrobial resistance was prevalent but without increasing trends. Active antimicrobial agents are necessary. Additionally, untested antimicrobial agents, including meropenem/sulbactam and polymyxin, might be optional. Inactive antimicrobial agents must be replaced. IMPORTANCE Carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria-related health care-associated ventriculitis and meningitis is a clinical threat because of the poor outcome and challenges in treatment. We reached several conclusions: (i) the antimicrobial resistance of pathogens is severe, and some antimicrobial agents represented by polymyxin are optional according to the antimicrobial susceptibility tests; (ii) in the background that the portion of carbapenems resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is increasing, there is no increasing trend for the antimicrobial resistance of carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in the 9-year study; (iii) meropenem is the main antimicrobial agent in treatment, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, tigecycline, polymyxin, and meropenem/sulbactam are commonly used in the targeted treatment; (iv) the treatment effect was poor and affected by the treatment: timely active antimicrobial agents should be given. And untested antimicrobial agents represented by polymyxin and meropenem/sulbactam might be optional. Inactive antimicrobial agents must be replaced.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria; healthcare-associated ventriculitis and meningitis; meropenem; polymyxin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carbapenems / pharmacology
  • Carbapenems / therapeutic use
  • Cerebral Ventriculitis* / drug therapy
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Bacterial* / drug therapy
  • Meropenem
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Polymyxins
  • Sulbactam
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / pharmacology
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Carbapenems
  • Polymyxins
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination
  • Meropenem
  • Sulbactam