1 February 1995

Relative importances of outer membrane permeability and group 1 beta-lactamase as determinants of meropenem and imipenem activities against Enterobacter cloacae


The roles of outer membrane permeability and Bush group 1 beta-lactamase activity in determining Enterobacter cloacae susceptibility to either meropenem or imipenem were investigated. A beta-lactamase-deficient strain was obtained by mutagenesis from a clinical isolate of E. cloacae, and a porin-deficient strain was selected from this mutant with cefoxitin. Both strains were transformed with the plasmid pAA20R, which contained the gene coding for the carbapenem-hydrolyzing CphA beta-lactamase, and the carbapenem permeability coefficients were measured by the Zimmermann and Rosselet technique (W. Zimmermann and A. Rosselet, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 12:368-372, 1977). The permeability coefficient of meropenem was roughly half that of imipenem in the normally permeable strain and almost seven times lower than that of imipenem in the porin-deficient strain. In the porin-deficient strain, the virtual absence of porins caused the MICs of meropenem to increase from 8 to 16 times, while it did not affect the MICs of imipenem. Conversely, the beta-lactamase affected imipenem but not meropenem activity: meropenem showed a similar activity in the parent strain and in the beta-lactamase-deficient mutant with both a low- and high-density inoculum, whereas imipenem was 16 times less active against the parent strain when the high-density inoculum was used. It is concluded that outer membrane permeability and stability to group 1 beta-lactamase have different impacts on the activities of meropenem and imipenem against E. cloacae.

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cover image Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Volume 39Number 2February 1995
Pages: 350 - 355
PubMed: 7726496


Published online: 1 February 1995


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G Cornaglia
Università degli Studi di Verona, Istituto di Microbiologia, Verona, Italy.
K Russell
Università degli Studi di Verona, Istituto di Microbiologia, Verona, Italy.
G Satta
Università degli Studi di Verona, Istituto di Microbiologia, Verona, Italy.
R Fontana
Università degli Studi di Verona, Istituto di Microbiologia, Verona, Italy.

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