oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Re-evaluating the role of piperacillin-tazobactam in the treatment of hospital-acquired infections : original research

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



The objectives were to determine the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of piperacillin-tazobactam against blood culture isolates over a two-year period, and to compare the MICs with isolates from the same site upon the South African launch of piperacillin-tazobactam. The intention was to to use the MIC data to evaluate and contextualise contemporary dosing strategies of piperacillin-tazobactam in South Africa. MICs were determined using broth microdilution antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A comparison of susceptibility between the two time periods was carried out using Fisher's exact test. The MIC data were then used to evaluate current dosing strategies based on current evidence-based pharmacodynamic parameters for piperacillin-tazobactam. A significant decrease in susceptibility was observed for (p-value = 0.0009), spp. (p-value = 0.0001), spp. (p-value = 0.0001) and (p-value = 0.0388) with MIC ≥ 128. spp., and spp./ spp. demonstrating reduced susceptibility (combined intermediate and resistant) of 44%, 11%, 20% and 0%, respectively. No significant difference in susceptibility between current extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)- and non-ESBL-producing isolates was seen with a lower MIC for ESBL-producing spp. and spp., compared to their non-ESBL-producing counterparts. The MIC data suggest that more targeted dosing strategies that aim to optimise pharmacodynamic parameters are needed. Piperacillin-tazobactam remains a valuable antimicrobial agent whose continued longevity will depend on appropriate optimisation of pharmacodynamic parameters. This requires the application of MIC-based susceptibility data to clinical use, with local assessment of the applicability of various dosing strategies that is based on cumulative antimicrobial susceptibility data.

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