Epidemiology and treatment of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections

Juan P. Horcajada, Milagro Montero, Antonio Oliver, Luisa Sorlí, Sònia Luque, Silvia Gómez-Zorrilla, Natividad Benito, Santiago Grau

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185 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 American Society for Microbiology. In recent years, the worldwide spread of the so-called high-risk clones of multidrug-resistant or extensively drug-resistant (MDR/XDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa has become a public health threat. This article reviews their mechanisms of resistance, epidemiology, and clinical impact and current and upcoming therapeutic options. In vitro and in vivo treatment studies and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) models are discussed. Polymyxins are reviewed as an important therapeutic option, outlining dosage, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and their clinical efficacy against MDR/XDR P. aeruginosa infections. Their narrow therapeutic window and potential for combination therapy are also discussed. Other “old” antimicrobials, such as certain β-lactams, aminoglycosides, and fosfomycin, are reviewed here. New antipseudomonals, as well as those in the pipeline, are also reviewed. Ceftolozane-tazobactam has clinical activity against a significant percentage of MDR/XDR P. aeruginosa strains, and its microbiological and clinical data, as well as recommendations for improving its use against these bacteria, are described, as are those for ceftazidime-avibactam, which has better activity against MDR/XDR P. aeruginosa, especially strains with certain specific mechanisms of resistance. A section is devoted to reviewing upcoming active drugs such as imipenem-relebactam, cefepime-zidebactam, cefiderocol, and murepavadin. Finally, other therapeutic strategies, such as use of vaccines, antibodies, bacteriocins, anti-quorum sensing, and bacteriophages, are described as future options.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00031-19
JournalClinical Microbiology Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa


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