Microb Drug Resist. 2021 Mar 15. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2020.0350. Online ahead of print.
Aims: Several in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that adding a β-lactam to vancomycin (VAN) or daptomycin (DAP) can provide synergy against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). However, the results from clinical studies were controversial. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the efficacy and safety of using VAN or DAP plus a β-lactam (combination therapy) and using VAN or DAP alone (monotherapy) in MRSA bloodstream infections. Methods: We included randomized controlled trials and observational studies evaluating whether combination therapy can improve clinical and microbiological outcomes and safety compared to monotherapy with VAN or DAP in MRSA-related bacteremia. Results: Literature search identified 3 randomized clinical trials and 10 observational studies involving at least 1,796 patients. There were no significant associations between the combination therapy and risk of mortality within 30 days (risk ratios [RRs], 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82-1.46), in-hospital mortality (RR, 0.59, 95% CI, 0.31-1.13) and mortality within 60-90 days (RR, 0.91, 95% CI, 0.64-1.29). There was also no evidence that there was a difference in length of hospital stay between the combination therapy and monotherapy (mean difference, -0.41 days, 95% CI, -3.41 to 2.59). However, compared with monotherapy, combination therapy seemed to have a shorter duration of bacteremia(mean difference, -1.06 days, 95% CI, -1.53 to -0.60), a lower risk of persistent bacteremia (RR, 0.63, 95% CI, 0.51-0.79) and a lower risk of bacteremia recurrence within 60-90 days (RR, 0.61, 95% CI, 0.40-0.92). There were no statistically significant differences in the total number of adverse events, including acute kidney injury (AKI) (RR, 1.52, 95% CI, 0.84-2.73), thrombocytopenia (RR, 1.13, 95% CI, 0.74-1.73), and diarrhea (RR, 1.36, 95% CI, 0.70-2.65), between patients with combination therapy and monotherapy. In subgroup analysis, when the analysis was limited to the studies comparing using DAP plus ceftaroline with monotherapy, we found that the former had a lower risk of mortality within 30 days. In addition, a subgroup analysis limited to randomized clinical trials showed that the combination therapy was associated with a higher risk of AKI compared with using VAN or DAP alone. Conclusions: Although adding a β-lactam to standard therapy seemed to experience a higher clearance compared with monotherapy in patients with MRSA bacteremia, the combination therapy did not increase survival benefits. Based on the available evidence, the combination therapy was not supported as the routine management of MRSA-related bacteremia, and both its harms and benefits should be taken into account.