Aztreonam vs. gentamicin in experimental peritonitis and intra-abdominal abscess formation

R. G. Sawyer, R. B. Adams, T. L. Pruett

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5 Scopus citations


The activity of gentamicin is known to be decreased in acidic environments, and both the peritoneum during peritonitis and the interior of abscesses have been shown to be acidic and hypoxic. The activity of β- lactam antibiotics is felt to be relatively less diminished under the same circumstances. We determined that the minimum inhibitory concentration of gentamicin against one pathogenic strain of Escherichia coli increased eight- fold, to 8 μg/mL, when testing conditions were changed from normoxic and neutral to hypoxic and acidic, whereas the MIC of aztreonam doubled under the same conditions, to 0.25 μgm/mL. In further experiments in a murine model of mixed Escherichia coli Bacteroides fragilis intra-abdominal abscesses, we demonstrated that a combination of aztreonam and clindamycin was superior to a combination of gentamicin and clindamycin in terms of completely preventing abscess formation (33% vs. 0%) and eliminating Escherichia coli from abscesses that did form (100% vs. 61%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-853
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


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