The in vitro activity of CGP 31608, a new penem, against aerobic and anaerobic organisms was evaluated and compared with those of other beta-lactams. CGP 31608 inhibited Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, K. oxytoca, Proteus mirabilis, Citrobacter diversus, and Salmonella, Shigella, Aeromonas, and Yersinia spp. with MICs for 50% of the strains (MIC50s) of 2 to 4 micrograms/ml and MIC90s of 4 micrograms/ml, compared with cefotaxime, ceftazidime, aztreonam, and imipenem MICs of less than 0.25 microgram/ml. MIC90s were 8 micrograms/ml for Enterobacter species and C. freundii, for which other agents had MICs of 32 micrograms/ml, except imipenem, which had equal activity. The MIC90 for Proteus vulgaris, Morganella morganii, Providencia stuartii, and Providencia rettgeri was 8 micrograms/ml, compared with less than 2 micrograms/ml shown by the other agents. Acinetobacter species resistant to other agents except imipenem were inhibited by 4 micrograms/ml, as were Pseudomonas aeruginosa, including piperacillin-, ceftazidime-, and gentamicin-resistant isolates. The MIC for P. cepacia, P. fluorescens, and P. acidovorans was less than or equal to 8 micrograms/ml, but that for P. maltophilia was greater than or equal to 128 micrograms/ml. Hemolytic streptococci A, B, C, G, and F were inhibited by less than 1 micrograms/ml, but the MIC for Streptococcus faecalis was greater than or equal to 32 micrograms/ml. MICs for Staphylococcus aureus methicillin-susceptible and -resistant strains were less than or equal to 1 microgram/ml, as were those for methicillin-susceptible and -resistant S. epidermidis. Bacteroides fragilis and Clostridium species and Fusobacterium spp. were inhibited by less than or equal to 4 micrograms/ml. CGP 31608 was not hydrolyzed by plasmid beta-lactamases TEM-1, TEM-2, SHV-1, PSE-1, OXA-2, PSE-4, or by S. aureus. Chromosomal beta-lactamases of type Ia in Enterobacter cloacae P99 and Morganella morganii, Ic in P. vulgaris, K-1 in K. oxytoca, and Id in P. aeruginosa also did not hydrolyze CGP 31608. It inhibited TEM-1, but the 50% inhibitory concentration was 14.2 micrograms/ml compared with 0.15 micrograms/ml for the P99 enzyme. CGP 31608 induced beta-lactamases in P. aeruginosa, E. cloacae, C. freundii and Providencia rettgeri, but there was no increase in MICs for the isolates and it did not select strains derepressed for beta-lactamase production. Synergy of CGP 31608 and gentamicin was found against 90% P. aeruginosa, 60% Enterobacter cloacae, and 50% Serratia marcescens strains. No synergy was found with rifampin. A postantibiotic effect was found against E. coli
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