JAC Antimicrob Resist. 2021 Jun 1;3(2):dlab066. doi: 10.1093/jacamr/dlab066. eCollection 2021 Jun.
BACKGROUND: India is among the nations reporting substantial healthcare burden linked to pneumococcal infections. Nafithromycin is a novel lactone ketolide antibiotic, which recently entered Phase 3 development in India for the indication of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP).
OBJECTIVES: To assess the in vitro activity of nafithromycin against serotyped invasive and non-invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates, collected from nine medical centres across India.
METHODS: A total of 534 isolates of S. pneumoniae were collected during 2015-20 and serotyped as per CDC protocol. A subset of erythromycin-non-susceptible S. pneumoniae (n = 200) was screened for the presence of erm(B) and mef(A/E) genes. A subset of MDR isolates (n = 54) were also subjected to MLST. The MICs of antibiotics were determined by the reference agar-dilution method (CLSI). Susceptibilities of the comparators were interpreted as per CLSI criteria.
RESULTS: Fifty-nine distinct serotypes were identified among the 534 isolates. Among erythromycin-non-susceptible isolates, erm(B) and mef(A/E) genes were found in 49% and 59% strains respectively, while MLST showed clonal diversity. Azithromycin (67.6% non-susceptible) and clindamycin (31.8% non-susceptible) showed limited activity. Penicillin (for non-meningitis) or quinolone non-susceptibility was low (<11% and <6%, respectively). Nafithromycin showed potent activity with MIC50 and MIC90 of 0.015-0.03 and 0.06 mg/L, respectively, regardless of the macrolide resistance mechanisms.
CONCLUSIONS: Indian pneumococcal isolates show poor susceptibilities to macrolides, in concordance with the global trend. Nafithromycin overcomes erm as well as mef-mediated macrolide resistance mechanisms expressed individually or concurrently in S. pneumoniae. This study supports continued clinical development of nafithromycin for pneumococcal infections including CABP.