BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 13;21(1):679. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-06341-y.
BACKGROUND: Oral beta-lactam antimicrobials are not routinely tested against Streptococcus pneumoniae due to presumed susceptibility based upon penicillin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing. Currently, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute provides comments to use penicillin MIC ≤0.06 to predict oral cephalosporin susceptibility. However, no guidance is provided when cefotaxime MIC is known, leading to uncertainty with interpretation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate cefotaxime and penicillin MICs and their respective correlation to oral beta-lactam categorical susceptibility patterns.
METHODS: 249 S. pneumoniae isolates were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF) and then tested by broth microdilution method to penicillin, cefotaxime, amoxicillin, cefdinir, cefpodoxime, and cefuroxime.
RESULTS: Using Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) non-meningitis breakpoints for cefotaxime, 240/249 isolates were classified as susceptible. Of the cefotaxime susceptible isolates, 23% of the isolates are misrepresented as cefdinir susceptible. Amoxicillin correlated well with penicillin MIC breakpoints with only 1 discordant isolate out of 249.
CONCLUSION: The correlation between amoxicillin and penicillin creates a very reliable predictor to determine categorical susceptibility. However oral cephalosporins were not well predicted by either penicillin or cefotaxime leading to the possible risk of treatment failures. Caution should be used when transitioning to oral cephalosporins in cefotaxime susceptible isolates, especially with higher cefotaxime MICs.