Third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Enterobacterales (3GCRE) are increasing in prevalence, leading to greater carbapenem consumption. Selecting ertapenem has been proposed as a strategy to reduce carbapenem resistance development. However, there are limited data for the efficacy of empirical ertapenem for 3GCRE bacteraemia.
To compare the efficacy of empirical ertapenem and class 2 carbapenems for the treatment of 3GCRE bacteraemia.
A prospective non-inferiority observational cohort study was performed from May 2019 to December 2021. Adult patients with monomicrobial 3GCRE bacteraemia receiving carbapenems within 24 h were included at two hospitals in Thailand. Propensity scores were used to control for confounding, and sensitivity analyses were performed in several subgroups. The primary outcome was 30 day mortality. This study is registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03925402).
Empirical carbapenems were prescribed in 427/1032 (41%) patients with 3GCRE bacteraemia, of whom 221 received ertapenem and 206 received class 2 carbapenems. One-to-one propensity score matching resulted in 94 pairs. Escherichia coli was identified in 151 (80%) of cases. All patients had underlying comorbidities. Septic shock and respiratory failure were the presenting syndromes in 46 (24%) and 33 (18%) patients, respectively. The overall 30 day mortality rate was 26/188 (13.8%). Ertapenem was non-inferior to class 2 carbapenems in 30 day mortality (12.8% versus 14.9%; mean difference -0.02; 95% CI: -0.12 to 0.08). Sensitivity analyses were consistent regardless of aetiological pathogens, septic shock, source of infection, nosocomial acquisition, lactate levels or albumin levels.
Ertapenem may be of comparable efficacy to class 2 carbapenems in the empirical treatment of 3GCRE bacteraemia.