Extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria are prevalent worldwide and correlated with hospital infections, but they have been evolving as an increasing cause of community acquired infections. The spread of ESBL constitutes a major threat for public health, and infections with ESBL-producing organisms have been associated with poor outcomes. Established therapeutic options for severe infections caused by ESBL-producing organisms are considered the carbapenems. However, under the pressure of carbapenem overuse and the emergence of resistance, carbapenem-sparing strategies have been implemented. The administration of carbapenem-sparing antibiotics for the treatment of ESBL infections has yielded conflicting results. Herein, the current available knowledge regarding carbapenem-sparing strategies for ESBL producers is reviewed, and the optimal conditions for the “when and how” of carbapenem-sparing agents is discussed. An important point of the review focuses on piperacillin–tazobactam as the agent arousing the most debate. The most available data regarding non-carbapenem β-lactams (i.e., ceftolozane–tazobactam, ceftazidime–avibactam, temocillin, cephamycins and cefepime) are also thoroughly presented as well as non β-lactams (i.e., aminoglycosides, quinolones, tigecycline, eravacycline and fosfomycin).
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited