New β-lactam–β-lactamase inhibitor combinations

Dafna Yahav, Christian G. Giske, Alise Gramatniece, Henrietta Abodakpi, Vincent H. Tam, Leonard Leibovici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SUMMARY The limited armamentarium against drug-resistant Gram-negative bacilli has led to the development of several novel β-lactam–β-lactamase inhibitor combinations (BLBLIs). In this review, we summarize their spectrum of in vitro activities, mechanisms of resistance, and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) characteristics. A summary of available clinical data is provided per drug. Four approved BLBLIs are dis-cussed in detail. All are options for treating multidrug-resistant (MDR) Enterobacterales and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Ceftazidime-avibactam is a potential drug for treating En-terobacterales producing extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL), Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC), AmpC, and some class D β-lactamases (OXA-48) in addition to carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Ceftolozane-tazobactam is a treatment option mainly for carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa (non-carbapenemase producing), with some activity against ESBL-producing Enterobacterales. Meropenem-vaborbactam has emerged as treatment option for Enterobacterales producing ESBL, KPC, or AmpC, with similar activity as meropenem against P. aeruginosa. Imipenem-relebactam has doc-umented activity against Enterobacterales producing ESBL, KPC, and AmpC, with the combination having some additional activity against P. aeruginosa relative to imipenem. None of these drugs present in vitro activity against Enterobacterales or P. aeruginosa producing metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) or against carbapenemase-producing Acinetobacter baumannii. Clinical data regarding the use of these drugs to treat MDR bacteria are limited and rely mostly on nonrandomized studies. An overview on eight BLBLIs in development is also provided. These drugs provide various levels of in vitro coverage of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales, with several drugs presenting in vitro activity against MBLs (cefepime-zidebactam, aztreonam-avibactam, meropenem-nacubactam, and cefepime-taniborbactam). Among these drugs, some also present in vitro activity against carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa (cefepime-zidebactam and cefepime-taniborbactam) and A. baumannii (cefepime-zidebactam and sulbactam-durlobactam).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00115-20
Pages (from-to)1-61
Number of pages61
JournalClinical Microbiology Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Ceftazidime-avibactam
  • Ceftolozane-tazobactam
  • Imipenem-relebactam
  • Meropenem-vaborbactam
  • β-lactam–β-lactamase inhibitor combinations


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