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Researchers Find Link Between Carbapenems and Superinfections & CDI

Khalid Eljaaly, PharmD, MS, CAPPS, BCPS, explains his team’s findings on the link between carbapenems and superinfections & Clostridium difficile.

Khalid Eljaaly, PharmD, MS, CAPPS, BCPS, Contagion Editorial Advisory Board member, postdoctoral research fellow on infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship, the University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy, explains his team’s findings on the link between carbapenems and superinfections & Clostridium difficile.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Carbapenem antibiotics are very valuable agents because they have broad spectrum of activity, allowing us to treat several infections including multidrug-resistant organisms.

We did a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials of patients with pneumonia that compared any of the meropenem or imipenem versus other antibiotics. We found that carbapenems actually cause more superinfections and [Clostridium difficile infections].

Before starting this meta-analysis, there [was an established] link between giving broad spectrum antibiotics and superinfections and C. diff. This is most likely because when you give broad spectrum antibiotics, you [will] inhibit normal microflora and its ecological balance in humans. [This leads] to overgrowth of opportunistic organisms and superinfection.”