Title

Inoculum effect with cefazolin among clinical isolates of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus: frequency and possible cause of cefazolin treatment failure.

Publication Date

8-1-2009

Journal

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009 August; 53(8): 3437–3441.

Abstract

Methicillin (meticillin)-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) strains producing large amounts of type A beta-lactamase (Bla) have been associated with cefazolin failures, but the frequency and impact of these strains have not been well studied. Here we examined 98 MSSA clinical isolates and found that 26% produced type A Bla, 15% type B, 46% type C, and none type D and that 13% lacked blaZ. The cefazolin MIC(90) was 2 microg/ml for a standard inoculum and 32 microg/ml for a high inoculum, with 19% of isolates displaying a pronounced inoculum effect (MICs of >or=16 microg/ml with 10(7) CFU/ml) (9 type A and 10 type C Bla producers). At the high inoculum, type A producers displayed higher cefazolin MICs than type B or C producers, while type B and C producers displayed higher cefamandole MICs. Among isolates from hemodialysis patients with MSSA bacteremia, three from the six patients who experienced cefazolin failure showed a cefazolin inoculum effect, while none from the six patients successfully treated with cefazolin showed an inoculum effect, suggesting an association between these strains and cefazolin failure (P = 0.09 by Fisher's exact test). In summary, 19% of MSSA clinical isolates showed a pronounced inoculum effect with cefazolin, a phenomenon that could explain the cases of cefazolin failure previously reported for hemodialysis patients with MSSA bacteremia. These results suggest that for serious MSSA infections, the presence of a significant inoculum effect with cefazolin could be associated with clinical failure in patients treated with this cephalosporin, particularly when it is used at low doses.

Keywords

Anti-Bacterial Agents, Bacteremia, Cefamandole, Cefazolin, Humans, Methicillin, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Staphylococcal Infections, Staphylococcus aureus, Treatment Failure, beta-Lactamases