Cefoperazone/sulbactam: New composites against multiresistant gram negative bacteria?

Yee Huang Ku, Wen Liang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Sulbactam, a class A β-lactamase inhibitor, added to cefoperazone either at a fixed 8 mg/L level of sulbactam or at a level of fixed cefoperazone: sulbactam ratio (2:1) would constitute a combination form of cefoperazone/sulbactam, which has better activities against Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii than cefoperazone alone. Cefoperazone/sulbactam (1:1 or 1:2) has greater in-vitro activity against most multidrug-resistant organisms (ESBL- and AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae and carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii except for carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa) than a 2:1 ratio. However, increased sulbactam concentration may induce AmpC production. Besides, sulbactam concentration might not be readily achievable in serum if the susceptibility rates were defined by the breakpoints of higher sulbactam composites, such as ≤16/16 (1:1) or 16/32 (1:2) mg/L. Carbapenemases (KPC-, OXA-type enzymes and metallo-β-lactamases) can't be inhibited by sulbactam. Some in-vitro studies showed that increasing sulbactam composites of cefoperazone/sulbactam had no effect on carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa, suggesting the presence of carbapenemases or AmpC overproduction that could not be overcome by increasing sulbactam levels to recover cefoperazone activity. Sulbactam alone has good intrinsic activity against carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter strains sometimes even in the presence of carbapenemase genes, suggesting unsteady levels of carbapenemases. In conclusion, appropriate composites of cefoperazone and β-lactamase inhibitor sulbactam may expand the clinical use if the pharmacokinetic optimization could be achieved in the human serum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104707
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Acinetobacter
  • AmpC
  • Beta-lactamase inhibitor
  • ESBL
  • Sulbactam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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