An unusual case of delayed-type hypersensitivity to ceftriaxone and meropenem


Recent studies have demonstrated a low cross-reactivity between â-lactam antibiotics and carbapenems in IgE-mediated reactions. There are no studies on cross-reactivity of meropenem in patients with non-immediate hypersensitivity to cephalosporins.
We describe a case of a 13-year-old male, admitted in Neurosurgery with a severe extradural empyema complicating frontal sinusitis, submitted to an emergent bifrontal craniotomy. A generalized maculopapular exanthema, fever and malaise, appeared by the 7th day of meningeal doses of ceftriaxone, clindamycin and vancomycin. Those were replaced by meropenem, with posterior worsening of the reaction and mucosal involvement. A new scheme with amikacin, metronidazole and linezolid was done with improvement. Skin prick, intradermal and patch tests to penicillins, ceftriaxone and meropenem were negative. Lymphocyte transformation test was positive to ceftriaxone and negative to meropenem.
Non-immediate T cell mechanism seems to be involved. Diagnosis work-up couldn’t exclude cross-reactivity between ceftriaxone and meropenem.

Table of Content: Vol. 47 (No. 6) 2015 November

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