Gram-negative bacilli resistance to all antibiotics, except for colistimethate sodium (CMS), is an emerging healthcare concern. Incorporating CMS into orthopedic cement to treat bone and soft-tissue infections due to these bacteria is attractive, but the data regarding the elution of CMS from cement are conflicting. The in vitro analysis of the elution of CMS from polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and calcium phosphate (CP) cement beads is reported. PMMA and CP beads containing CMS were incubated in phosphate-buffered saline and the eluate sampled at sequential time points. The inhibition of the growth of a strain of Acinetobacter baumannii complex by the eluate was measured by disk diffusion and microbroth dilution assays, and the presence of CMS in the eluate was measured by mass spectroscopy.
CMS elutes from both CP and PMMA beads in amounts sufficient to inhibit bacterial growth in vitro. The clinical implications of these findings require further study.