Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: We investigated the synergistic effect between vancomycin and ß-lactams against vancomycin-susceptible (VSSA) and nonsusceptible MRSA isolates [heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (hVISA) and VISA]. Materials and methods: A total of 29 MRSA, including 6 VISA, 14 hVISA, and 9 VSSA isolates, were subjected to a microbroth dilution-minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) checkerboard using vancomycin combined with cefotaxime, imipenem, or meropenem. To confirm synergistic activity, the representative strains of VISA, hVISA, and VSSA were then selected for the time-kill curve method. Results: The combination of vancomycin with imipenem, meropenem, or cefotaxime exhibited synergistic effects against 17 (2 VISA, 9 hVISA, and 6 VSSA), 14 (3 VISA, 9 hVISA and 2 VSSA), and 5 (3 VISA and 2 hVISA) isolates, respectively. Additive and indifferent effects were found in the remaining isolates, but no antagonistic effect was observed. Using time-kill assay, the vancomycin combined with either imipenem or cefotaxime demonstrated synergism against both VISA and hVISA isolates, while the synergistic effect with meropenem was obtained only in the VISA isolates. Conclusion: This study demonstrated in vitro enhanced antibacterial activity of vancomycin plus ß-lactams against clinical hVISA or VISA isolates. These combinations may be an alternative treatment for MRSA infections in clinical practice.


ß-Lactams, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, synergy, vancomycin, vancomycin resistance

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