Effect of protein binding on serum bacteridical activities of ceftazidime and cefoperazone in healthy volunteers

Y. W.F. Lam, M. H. Duroux, J. G. Gambertoglio, S. L. Barriere, B. J. Guglielmo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The effect of protein binding on antibiotic efficacy is controversial. The pharmacologic effect of an antibiotic is believed to be related to its unbound concentration at the site of infection. It is unknown whether antibiotics with a low degree of serum protein binding are clinically superior to antibiotics that are highly protein bound. In a randomized, crossover investigation, the serum bactericidal activities of a single dose of ceftazidime (30 mg/kg) and cefoperazone (30 mg/kg) were studied in six healthy volunteers against three clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa for which both antibiotics had similar MICs and MBCs. Serum samples were collected over 12 h. The total and unbound antibiotic concentrations were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Mean peak total concentrations of ceftazidime and cefoperazone in serum were 101.7 ± 18.6 and 264.1 ± 149.6 μg/ml, respectively. Due to its lower protein binding (21 ± 6%), ceftazidine had significantly higher unbound concentrations in serum than did the highly bound cefoperazone (91.5 ± 2%). Mean peak unbound concentrations were 78.5 ± 12.5 and 24.2 ± 17.8 μg/ml for ceftazidime and cefoperazone, respectively. The unbound concentration of ceftazidime at each sampling time was higher than that of cefoperazone. Although total concentrations were consistently higher than the MICs, serum containing cefoperazone showed minimal bactericidal activity against the isolates. In contrast, despite lower total concentrations, ceftazidime had greater antibacterial activity than cefoperazone. Serum bactericidal activity was more closely related to unbound rather than total antibiotic concentrations. Our data support the concept that only the unbound drug is microbiologically active.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology


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