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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 6 (1995), Issue 1, Pages 21-27
Original Article

Antimicrobial Activity of Ceftriaxone Compared with Cefotaxime in the Presence of Serum Albumin

Swapan K Nath, Gary A Foster, Lionel A Mandell, and Coleman Rotstein

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases, Henderson General Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Received 31 January 1994; Accepted 14 June 1994

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


The effect of serum albumin on the antimicrobial activity of ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, and a 1:1 ratio of cefotaxime and its desacetyl metabolite against nonpseudomonal Gram-negative bacilli was determined. Antimicrobial activity of drugs was evaluated by measuring minimum inhibitory (mic) and bactericidal (mbc) concentrations in broth with and without human serum albumin. The analysis of logarithmically transformed mean mics and mbcs showed that there was a highly significant interaction between drug and serum albumin (P<0.0001). The inhibitory and bactericidal activities were greatest for cefotaxime followed by cefotaxime/desacetylcefotaxime and ceftriaxone (P<0.01). Time-kill kinetics demonstrated that ceftriaxone was less bactericidal than cefotaxime in broth with albumin. On the basis of these results it was concluded that the in vitro antimicrobial activity of ceftriaxone compared with that of cefotaxime was significantly diminished in the presence of serum albumin.