In vitro and in vivo activities of clarithromycin against Mycobacterium avium

Fernandes, P.B.; Hardy, D.J.; McDaniel, D.; Hanson, C.W.; Swanson, R.N.

Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 33(9): 1531-1534


ISSN/ISBN: 0066-4804
PMID: 2530933
DOI: 10.1128/aac.33.9.1531
Accession: 007437624

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There is no effective therapy to treat Mycobacterium avium complex infection in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Clarithromycin (A-56268; TE-031) is a new macrolide which is twofold more active than erythromycin against most aerobic bacteria. In addition, higher levels in serum and tissue are achieved with clarithromycin than with erythromycin. In this study, clarithromycin, erythromycin, difloxacin, temafloxacin, ciprofloxacin, rifampin, amikacin, and ethambutol were tested in vitro and in vivo against the M. avium complex. The MICs for 90% of strains tested were 4 micrograms/ml for clarithromycin, 64 micrograms/ml for erythromycin, 32 micrograms/ml for difloxacin, 8 micrograms/ml for temafloxacin, 4 micrograms/ml for ciprofloxacin, 4 micrograms/ml for rifampin, 32 micrograms/ml for amikacin, and 32 micrograms/ml for ethambutol. Beige mice were infected intravenously with 10(7) CFU of M. avium ATCC 25291. Treatment was started on day 6 after infection and was administered twice a day at 8-h intervals for 9 days. Clarithromycin was the most effective compound in these tests and was effective in reducing the viable bacterial counts in the spleen when it was administered subcutaneously or orally at a dose of 25 mg/kg. Amikacin was the only other compound which showed activity in vivo. The peak concentration in serum at which clarithromycin was active was approximately 1.0 microgram/ml.