Leakage of β-lactamase: A second mechanism for antibiotic potentiation by amdinocillin

C. C. Sanders, W. E. Sanders, R. V. Goering, R. V. McCloskey

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8 Scopus citations


Discrepancies were observed between results of different beta-lactamase induction tests with amdinocillin, which appeared to be a strong inducer in whole-cell assays but a weak inducer in assays with cell-free sonic extracts. Results of a nitrocephin-disk test with constitutive beta-lactamase producers indicated that the positive results obtained in whole-cell assays were due to drug-produced leakage of enzyme from the cell and not to induction. Imipenem was also found to cause leakage of beta-lactamase from a similar number of constitutive enzyme producers, while cefoxitin was much less likely to cause leakage. A split-dose regimen was employed to treat mice infected with a strain of Enterobacter cloacae which appeared to leak enzyme on exposure to amdinocillin. Results indicated that prior treatment with amdinocillin significantly enhanced (P <0.025) the efficacy of azlocillin, an enzyme-labile drug, but did not affect the efficacy of cefotaxime, a relatively enzyme-stable drug. Conversely, prior treatment with amdinocillin did not potentiate the efficacy of either azlocillin or cefotaxime in the treatment of mice infected with an Escherichia coli strain that was highly susceptible to all three drugs. Thus, it appears that amdinocillin may potentiate the activity of other beta-lactam drugs not only by binding to a complementary penicillin-binding protein but also by causing leakage of beta-lactamase from the cell. This effect may be related to its ability to bind to penicillin-binding protein 2 and subsequently produce changes in outer membrane permeability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1164-1168
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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