Pharmacodynamics of dose-escalated ‘front-loading’ polymyxin B regimens against polymyxin-resistant mcr-1-harbouring Escherichia coli Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: Gram-negative bacteria harbouring the mcr-1 plasmid are resistant to the 'last-line' polymyxins and have been reported worldwide. Our objective was to define the impact of increasing the initial polymyxin B dose intensity against an mcr-1 -harbouring strain to delineate the impact of plasmid-mediated polymyxin resistance on the dynamics of bacterial killing and resistance. METHODS: A hollow fibre infection model (HFIM) was used to simulate polymyxin B regimens against an mcr-1 -harbouring Escherichia coli (MIC 8 mg/L) over 10 days. Four escalating polymyxin B 'front-loading' regimens (3.33, 6.66, 13.3 or 26.6 mg/kg for one dose followed by 1.43 mg/kg every 12 h starting 12 h later) simulating human pharmacokinetics were utilized in the HFIM. A mechanism-based, mathematical model was developed using S-ADAPT to characterize bacterial killing. RESULTS: The 3.33 mg/kg 'front-loading' regimen resulted in regrowth mirroring the growth control. The 6.66, 13.3 and 26.6 mg/kg 'front-loading' regimens resulted in maximal bacterial reductions of 1.91, 3.79 and 6.14 log 10 cfu/mL, respectively. Irrespective of the early polymyxin B exposure (24 h AUC), population analysis profiles showed similar growth of polymyxin B-resistant subpopulations. The HFIM data were well described by the mechanism-based model integrating three subpopulations (susceptible, intermediate and resistant). Compared with the susceptible subpopulation of mcr-1 -harbouring E. coli , the resistant subpopulation had an approximately 10-fold lower rate of killing due to polymyxin B treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Manipulating initial dose intensity of polymyxin B was not able to overcome plasmid-mediated resistance due to mcr-1 in E. coli . This reinforces the need to develop new combinatorial strategies to combat these highly resistant Gram-negative bacteria.


  • Smith, Nicholas M
  • Bulman, Zackery P
  • Sieron, Arthur O
  • Bulitta, Jürgen B
  • Holden, Patricia N
  • Nation, Roger L
  • Li, Jian
  • Wright, Gerard
  • Tsuji, Brian T

publication date

  • August 1, 2017