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Synergy of Penicillin-Netilmicin Combinations Against Enterococci Including Strains Highly Resistant to Streptomycin or Kanamycin

By Christine C. Sanders


The in vitro activity of combinations of penicillin and netilimicin was determined against 20 clinical isolates of enterococci and compared with that obtained in simultaneous tests with penicillin/sisomicin, penicillin/streptomycin, and penicillin/kanamycin. Synergy between the two drugs in each combination was determined by the use of quantitative kill curves and was defined as a killing by the combination at least 100-fold greater than that produced by the most effective drug alone. Penicillin/netilmicin and penicillin/sisomicin combinations were found to be synergistic against the majority of isolates tested, including strains resistant to penicillin/streptomycin or penicillin/kanamycin combinations. This synergy with penicillin could be demonstrated at a concentration of ≤7 μg/ml for either netilmicin or sisomicin. Studies on the kinetics of killing produced by these combinations showed the rate and extent of killing to be directly dependent upon the organism's relative susceptibility to the aminoglycoside alone and the aminoglycoside concentration in the combination. Results also indicated that the interaction between penicillin and netilmicin was true synergy; i.e., rapid and complete killing was produced by combinations containing each drug at concentrations insufficient to produce any killing alone, and the killing observed could not be produced by either drug alone at a concentration equivalent to the total drug concentration in the combination. The potential clinical application of this synergistic interaction should be investigated further, especially in view of recent reports showing netilmicin to be considerably less toxic than gentamicin in experimental animals

Topics: Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Year: 1977
DOI identifier: 10.1128/aac.12.2.195
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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