In vitro and ex vivo activities of antimicrobial agents used in combination with clarithromycin, with or without amikacin, against Mycobacterium avium

Fattorini, L.; Li, B.; Piersimoni, C.; Tortoli, E.; Xiao, Y.; Santoro, C.; Ricci, M.L.; Orefici, G.

Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 39(3): 680-685

1995


ISSN/ISBN: 0066-4804
PMID: 7793873
DOI: 10.1128/aac.39.3.680
Accession: 008835500

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Abstract
MICs of clarithromycin, amikacin, isoniazid, rifabutin, ciprofloxacin, sparfloxacin, ethambutol, and clofazimine were determined for six isolates of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) from AIDS patients both by the radiometric method and by an ex vivo model of infection in human macrophages. The median MICs in macrophages were similar or slightly lower than values found in broth, except for amikacin, which had slightly higher MICs inside the cells. Combinations of clarithromycin with other antimicrobial agents showed that clarithromycin-clofazimine and clarithromycin-rifabutin were synergistic on five of six strains while clarithromycin-amikacin and clarithromycin-isoniazid were antagonistic on one and two strains, respectively. The addition of amikacin made the combinations of clarithromycin-clofazimine and clarithromycin-ethambutol synergistic against all the MAC strains. In the macrophage model, the combination of clarithromycin-clofazimine (mean survival, 21%) and clarithromycin-rifabutin (mean survival, 29%) showed a strong reduction in viable counts compared with single drugs, while clarithromycin-amikacin was less active than single drugs alone. In general, the addition of amikacin did not improve the activity of the combinations, except for clarithromycin-isoniazid-amikacin (mean survival, 19%), which was significantly more active than either clarithromycin-isoniazid or clarithromycin-amikacin. The use of the macrophage model can suggest new combinations of antimicrobial agents with anti-MAC activity which, on the basis of their in vitro effectiveness, would probably be disregarded for assay in animal models.