WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Ivacaftor is a novel potentiator of defective cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein, which corrects the gating defect and increases ion-function of activated cell-surface CFTR. Bacteria also regulate their physiology through ion channels. However, little is known about the potential effects of ivacaftor on bacterial ion channels, which, in turn, may have a potential effect on transport across the bacterial cell membrane. Therefore, any change in the ability to transport molecules across cell membranes in bacteria could have an important impact on bacterial transport physiology. One area where this could be particularly important is in the movement of antibiotics, both into and out of the bacterial cell. An in vitro study was therefore performed to examine the influence of ivacaftor at therapeutic concentration on antibiotic susceptibility of 11 commonly used anti-pseudomonal antibiotics against a population of clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa [PA], from CF and non-CF sources.
METHOD: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 80; including 70 ivacaftor-naïve clinical PA from sputa from adult CF patients and 10 control PA from non-CF clinical blood culture sources) were examined. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined by standard disc diffusion assay using CLSI criteria and measuring zone size (mm), against four classes of anti-pseudomonal antibiotics, including beta-lactams (temocillin, ceftazidime, piperacillin/tazobactam, imipenem, meropenem and aztreonam), aminoglycosides (gentamicin, tobramycin, amikacin), fluoroquinolone (ciprofloxacin) and polymyxin (colistin), in the absence and presence of ivacaftor (5 μmol/L), as previously determined. In addition, all CF and non-CF PA were examined phenotypically in vitro, as previously described, for changes linked to bacterial virulence, including (i) growth density (ii) pigmentation, (iii) presence of adhesins and (iv) change to mucoidy, in the presence/absence of ivacaftor at therapeutic concentration.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Antibiotic susceptibility did not decrease significantly with any of the antibiotics examined with CF PA isolates or with non-CF PA control organisms. There was a statistically significant increase in zone size (CF PA and amikacin, gentamicin, temocillin and ciprofloxacin; Non-CF PA and amikacin, gentamicin and aztreonam). However, at a population level, this did not translate into a shift in CLSI category to a more susceptible phenotype. None of the PA isolates examined were susceptible to ivacaftor alone, and additionally, no changes were noted with the four phenotypic parameters examined in the presence of ivacaftor.
WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: This study showed that antibiotic susceptibility of commonly used anti-pseudomonal antibiotics was not negatively affected by ivacaftor, in a population of ivacaftor-naive P. aeruginosa.