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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Vancomycin acts synergistically with gentamicin against penicillin-resistant pneumococci by increasing the intracellular penetration of gentamicin.

Vancomycin and gentamicin act synergistically against penicillin-resistant pneumococci in vitro and in experimental rabbit meningitis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the underlying mechanism of this synergism. The intracellular concentration of gentamicin was measured by using the following experimental setting. Bacterial cultures were incubated with either gentamicin alone or gentamicin plus vancomycin for a short period (15 min). The gentamicin concentration was determined before and after grinding of the cultures by using the COBAS INTEGRA fluorescence polarization system (Roche). The grinding efficacies ranged between 44 and 54%, as determined by viable cell counts. In the combination regimen the intracellular concentration of gentamicin increased to 186% compared to that achieved with gentamicin monotherapy. These data suggest that the synergy observed in vivo and in vitro is based on an increased intracellular penetration of the aminoglycoside, probably due to the effect of vancomycin on the permeability of the cell wall.[1]


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