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1.  The antileishmanial agent licochalcone A interferes with the function of parasite mitochondria. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1995;39(12):2742-2748.
Our previous studies have shown that licochalcone A, an oxygenated chalcone, has antileishmanial (M. Chen, S.B. Christensen, J. Blom, E. Lemmich, L. Nadelmann, K. Fich, T.G. Theander, and A. Kharazmi, Antimicrob, Agents Chemother. 37:2550-2556, 1993; M. Chen, S.B. Christensen, T.G. Theander, and A. Khrazmi, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 38:1339-1344, 1994) and antimalarial (M. Chen, T.G. Theander, S.B. Christensen, L. Hviid, L. Zhai, and A. Kaharazmi, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 38:1470-1475, 1994) activities. We have observed that licochalcone A alters the ultrastructure of the mitochondria of Leishmania promastigotes (Chen et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 37:2550-2556, 1993). The present study was designed to examine this observation further and investigate the mechanism of action of antileishmanial activity of licochalcone A. Electron microscopic studies showed that licochalcone A altered the ultrastructure of Leishmania major promastigote and amastigote mitochondria in a concentration-dependent manner without damaging the organelles of macrophages or the phagocytic function of these cells. Studies on the function of the parasite mitochondria showed that licochalcone A inhibited the respiration of the parasite by the parasites. Moreover, licochalcone A inhibited the activity of the parasite mitochondrial dehydrogenase. The inhibition of the activity of the parasite mitochondrial enzyme correlated well with the changes in the ultrastructure of the mitochondria shown by electron microscopy. These findings demonstrate that licochalcone A alters the ultrastructure and function of the mitochondria of Leishmania parasites.
PMCID: PMC163022  PMID: 8593012
2.  Relative to Quinine and Quinidine, Their 9-Epimers Exhibit Decreased Cytostatic Activity and Altered Heme Binding but Similar Cytocidal Activity versus Plasmodium falciparum 
The 9-epimers of quinine (QN) and quinidine (QD) are known to exhibit poor cytostatic potency against P. falciparum (Karle JM, Karle IL, Gerena L, Milhous WK, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 36:1538–1544, 1992). We synthesized 9-epi-QN (eQN) and 9-epi-QD (eQD) via Mitsunobu esterification-saponification and evaluated both cytostatic and cytocidal antimalarial activities. Relative to the cytostatic activity of QN and QD, we observed a large decrease in cytostatic activity (higher 50% inhibitory concentration [IC50s]) against QN-sensitive strain HB3, QN-resistant strain Dd2, and QN-hypersensitive strain K76I, consistent with previous work. However, we observed relatively small changes in cytocidal activity (the 50% lethal dose), similar to observations with chloroquine (CQ) analogues with a wide range of IC50s (see the accompanying paper [A. P. Gorka, J. N. Alumasa, K. S. Sherlach, L. M. Jacobs, K. B. Nickley, J. P. Brower, A. C. de Dios, and P. D. Roepe, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 57:356–364, 2013]). Compared to QN and QD, the 9-epimers had significantly reduced hemozoin inhibition efficiency and did not affect pH-dependent aggregation of ferriprotoporphyrin IX (FPIX) heme. Magnetic susceptibility measurements showed that the 9-epimers perturb FPIX monomer-dimer equilibrium in favor of monomer, and UV-visible (VIS) titrations showed that eQN and eQD bind monomer with similar affinity relative to QN and QD. However, unique ring proton shifts in the presence of zinc(II) protoporphyrin IX (ZnPIX) indicate that binding of the 9-epimers to monomeric heme is via a distinct geometry. We isolated eQN- and eQD-FPIX complexes formed under aqueous conditions and analyzed them by mass, fluorescence, and UV-VIS spectroscopies. The 9-epimers produced low-fluorescent adducts with a 2:1 stoichiometry (drug to FPIX) which did not survive electrospray ionization, in contrast to QN and QD complexes. The data offer important insight into the relevance of heme interactions as a drug target for cytostatic versus cytocidal dosages of quinoline antimalarial drugs and further elucidate a surprising structural diversity of quinoline antimalarial drug-heme complexes.
PMCID: PMC3535971  PMID: 23114754
3.  Dicyclic and Tricyclic Diaminopyrimidine Derivatives as Potent Inhibitors of Cryptosporidium parvum Dihydrofolate Reductase: Structure-Activity and Structure-Selectivity Correlations 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2001;45(12):3293-3303.
A structurally diverse library of 93 lipophilic di- and tricyclic diaminopyrimidine derivatives was tested for the ability to inhibit recombinant dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) cloned from human and bovine isolates of Cryptosporidium parvum (J. R. Vásquez et al., Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 79:153–165, 1996). In parallel, the library was also tested against human DHFR and, for comparison, the enzyme from Escherichia coli. Fifty percent inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) were determined by means of a standard spectrophotometric assay of DHFR activity with dihydrofolate and NADPH as the cosubstrates. Of the compounds tested, 25 had IC50s in the 1 to 10 μM range against one or both C. parvum enzymes and thus were not substantially different from trimethoprim (IC50s, ca. 4 μM). Another 25 compounds had IC50s of <1.0 μM, and 9 of these had IC50s of <0.1 μM and thus were at least 40 times more potent than trimethoprim. The remaining 42 compounds were weak inhibitors (IC50s, >10 μM) and thus were not considered to be of interest as drugs useful against this organism. A good correlation was generally obtained between the results of the spectrophotometric enzyme inhibition assays and those obtained recently in a yeast complementation assay (V. H. Brophy et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 44:1019–1028, 2000; H. Lau et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 45:187–195, 2001). Although many of the compounds in the library were more potent than trimethoprim, none had the degree of selectivity of trimethoprim for C. parvum versus human DHFR. Collectively, the results of these assays comprise the largest available database of lipophilic antifolates as potential anticryptosporidial agents. The compounds in the library were also tested as inhibitors of the proliferation of intracellular C. parvum oocysts in canine kidney epithelial cells cultured in folate-free medium containing thymidine (10 μM) and hypoxanthine (100 μM). After 72 h of drug exposure, the number of parasites inside the cells was quantitated by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy. Sixteen compounds had IC50s of <3 μM, and five of these had IC50s of <0.3 μM and thus were comparable in potency to trimetrexate. The finding that submicromolar concentrations of several of the compounds in the library could inhibit in vitro growth of C. parvum in host cells in the presence of thymidine (dThd) and hypoxanthine (Hx) suggests that lipophilic DHFR inhibitors, in combination with leucovorin, may find use in the treatment of intractable C. parvum infections.
PMCID: PMC90829  PMID: 11709300
4.  Systematic Approach to Optimizing Specifically Targeted Antimicrobial Peptides against Streptococcus mutans▿  
Previously we reported a novel strategy of “targeted killing” through the design of narrow-spectrum molecules known as specifically targeted antimicrobial peptides (STAMPs) (R. Eckert et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 50:3651-3657, 2006; R. Eckert et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 50:1480-1488, 2006). Construction of these molecules requires the identification and the subsequent utilization of two conjoined yet functionally independent peptide components: the targeting and killing regions. In this study, we sought to design and synthesize a large number of STAMPs targeting Streptococcus mutans, the primary etiologic agent of human dental caries, in order to identify candidate peptides with increased killing speed and selectivity compared with their unmodified precursor antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). We hypothesized that a combinatorial approach, utilizing a set number of AMP, targeting, and linker regions, would be an effective method for the identification of STAMPs with the desired level of activity. STAMPs composed of the Sm6 S. mutans binding peptide and the PL-135 AMP displayed selectivity at MICs after incubation for 18 to 24 h. A STAMP where PL-135 was replaced by the B-33 killing domain exhibited both selectivity and rapid killing within 1 min of exposure and displayed activity against multispecies biofilms grown in the presence of saliva. These results suggest that potent and selective STAMP molecules can be designed and improved via a tunable “building-block” approach.
PMCID: PMC2863653  PMID: 20211885
5.  Genetic Identification of the Bacteriocins Produced by Enterococcus faecium IT62 and Evidence that Bacteriocin 32 Is Identical to Enterocin IT▿  
Enterococcus faecium IT62, a strain isolated from ryegrass in Japan, produces three bacteriocins (enterocins L50A, L50B, and IT) that have been previously purified and the primary structures of which have been determined by amino acid sequencing (E. Izquierdo, A. Bednarczyk, C. Schaeffer, Y. Cai, E. Marchioni, A. Van Dorsselaer, and S. Ennahar, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 52:1917-1923, 2008). Genetic analysis showed that the bacteriocins of E. faecium IT62 are plasmid encoded, but with the structural genes specifying enterocin L50A and enterocin L50B being carried by a plasmid (pTAB1) that is separate from the one (pTIT1) carrying the structural gene of enterocin IT. Sequencing analysis of a 1,475-bp region from pTAB1 identified two consecutive open reading frames corresponding, with the exception of 2 bp, to the genes entL50A and entL50B, encoding EntL50A and EntL50B, respectively. Both bacteriocins are synthesized without N-terminal leader sequences. Genetic analysis of a sequenced 1,380-bp pTIT1 fragment showed that the genes entIT and entIM, encoding enterocin IT and its immunity protein, respectively, were both found in E. faecium VRE200 for bacteriocin 32. Enterocin IT, a 6,390-Da peptide made up of 54 amino acids, has been previously shown to be identical to the C-terminal part of bacteriocin 32, a 7,998-Da bacteriocin produced by E. faecium VRE200 whose structure was deduced from its structural gene (T. Inoue, H. Tomita, and Y. Ike, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 50:1202-1212, 2006). By combining the biochemical and genetic data on enterocin IT, it was concluded that bacteriocin 32 is in fact identical to enterocin IT, both being encoded by the same plasmid-borne gene, and that the N-terminal leader peptide for this bacteriocin is 35 amino acids long and not 19 amino acids long as previously reported.
PMCID: PMC2681497  PMID: 19273675
6.  Mechanism-Based Pharmacodynamic Models of Fluoroquinolone Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus 
Pharmacodynamic modeling from earlier experiments in which two ciprofloxacin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strains and their corresponding resistant grlA mutants were exposed to a series of ciprofloxacin (J. J. Campion, P. J. McNamara, and M. E. Evans, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 49:209-219, 2005) and levofloxacin (J. J. Campion et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 49:2189-2199, 2005) pharmacokinetic profiles in an in vitro system indicated that the subpopulation-specific estimated maximal killing rate constants were similar for both agents, suggesting a common mechanism of action. We propose two novel pharmacodynamic models that assign mechanisms of action to fluoroquinolones (growth inhibition or death stimulation) and compare the abilities of these models and two other maximum effect models (net effect and MIC based) to describe and predict the changes in the population dynamics observed during our previous in vitro system experiments with ciprofloxacin. A high correlation between predicted and observed viable counts was observed for all models, but the best fits, as assessed by diagnostic tests, and the most precise parameter estimates were obtained with the growth inhibition and net effect models. All models, except the death stimulation model, correctly predicted that resistant subpopulations would not emerge when a high-density culture was exposed to a high initial concentration designed to rapidly eradicate low-level-resistant grlA mutants. Additional experiments are necessary to elucidate which of the proposed mechanistic models best characterizes the antibacterial effects of fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents.
PMCID: PMC1563538  PMID: 16940088
7.  Cerebrospinal fluid ceftazidime kinetics in patients with external ventriculostomies. 
Ceftazidime has proven to be effective for the treatment of bacterial meningitis caused by multiresistant gram-negative bacteria. Since nosocomial central nervous system infections are often accompanied by only a minor dysfunction of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier, patients with noninflammatory occlusive hydrocephalus who had undergone external ventriculostomy were studied (n = 8). Serum and CSF were drawn repeatedly after the administration of the first dose of ceftazidime (3 g over 30 min intravenously), and concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography by using UV detection. The concentrations of ceftazidime in CSF were maximal at 1 to 13 h (median, 5.5 h) after the end of the infusion and ranged from 0.73 to 2.80 mg/liter (median, 1.56 mg/liter). The elimination half-lives were 3.13 to 18.1 h (median, 10.7 h) in CSF compared with 2.02 to 5.24 h (median, 3.74 h) in serum. The ratios of the areas under the concentration-time curves in CSF and serum (AUCCSF/AUCS) ranged from 0.027 to 0.123 (median, 0.054). After the administration of a single dose of 3 g, the maximum concentrations of ceftazidime in CSF were approximately four times higher than those after the administration of 2-g intravenous doses of cefotaxime (median, 0.44 mg/liter) and ceftriaxone (median, 0.43 mg/liter) (R. Nau, H. W. Prange, P. Muth, G. Mahr, S. Menck, H. Kolenda, and F. Sörgel, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 37:1518-1524, 1993). The median AUCCSF/AUCS ratio of ceftazidime was slightly below that of cefotaxime (0.12), but it was 1 order of magnitude above the median AUCCSF/AUCS of ceftriaxone (0.007) (Nau et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 37:1518-1524, 1993). The concentrations of ceftazidime observed in CSF were above the MICs for most Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains. However, they are probably not high enough to be rapidly bactericidal. For this reason, the daily dose should be increased to 12 g in cases of P. aeruginosa infections of the central nervous system when the blood-CSF barrier is minimally impaired.
PMCID: PMC163194  PMID: 8851607
8.  New semisynthetic pneumocandins with improved efficacies against Pneumocystis carinii in the rat. 
A new series of semisynthetic, water-soluble pneumocandin analogs has been found to be extremely potent against Pneumocystis carinii in an immunocompromised-rat model. These compounds are 5 to 10 times more potent than the parent natural product, pneumocandin B0 (L-688,786) (R. E. Schwartz et al., J. Antibiot. 45:1853-1866, 1992), and > 100 times more potent than cilofungin. One compound in particular, L-733,560, had a 90% effective dose against P. carinii cysts of 0.01 mg/kg of body weight when delivered parenterally (subcutaneously, twice daily for 4 days). This compound was also effective when given orally for the treatment and prevention of P. carinii pneumonia. For treating acute P. carinii pneumonia, oral doses of 2.2 mg/kg twice daily for 4 days were required to eliminate 90% of the cysts. A once-daily oral prophylactic dose of 2.2 mg/kg prevented cyst development, and a dose of 6.2 mg/kg prevented any development of P. carinii organisms (cysts and trophozoites), as determined through the use of a P. carinii-specific DNA probe (P. A. Liberator et al., J. Clin. Microbiol. 30:2968-2974, 1992). These results demonstrate that the antipneumocystis activities of the pneumocandins can be significantly improved through synthetic modification. Several of these compounds are also extremely effective against candidiasis (K. Bartizal et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 39:1070-1076, 1995) and aspergillosis (G. K. Abruzzo et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 39:860-894, 1995) in murine models, making them attractive as broad-spectrum antifungal agents.
PMCID: PMC162734  PMID: 7574523
9.  Attenuation by daptomycin of gentamicin-induced experimental nephrotoxicity. 
Previously, daptomycin was shown to reduce tobramycin nephrotoxicity in vivo (D. Beauchamp, M. Pellerin, P. Gourde, M. Pettigrew, and M. G. Bergeron, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 34:139-147, 1990; C. A. Wood, H. C. Finkbeiner, S. J. Kohlhepp, P. W. Kohnen, and D. C. Gilbert, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 33:1280-1285, 1989). Female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with saline (NaCl, 0.9%), daptomycin (10 mg/kg of body weight every 12 h, subcutaneously), gentamicin (30 mg/kg/12 h, intraperitoneally) or with a combination of daptomycin plus gentamicin over a 10-day period. Animals were killed 4, 10, and 20 days after the end of treatment. Four days after the end of drug administration, gentamicin and daptomycin levels in the renal cortices of animals treated with the combination of daptomycin and gentamicin were significantly higher than in those of rats given gentamicin or daptomycin alone (P < 0.01). Despite the higher cortical concentrations of gentamicin, rats given the combination of gentamicin and daptomycin had less reduction in renal cortex sphingomyelinase activity, less evidence of regeneration of cellular cortical cells ([3H]thymidine incorporation into cortex DNA), lower creatinine concentration in serum, and less histopathologic evidence of injury than rats given gentamicin alone. By immunogold technique, both daptomycin and gentamicin were localized to the lysosomes of proximal tubular cells, regardless of whether animals received the drugs alone or in combination. Interestingly, myeloid body formation occurred in both those animals given gentamicin alone and those given daptomycin plus gentamicin. No significant changes were observed for all groups between 10 and 20 days after the end of therapy, suggesting that the toxicity of gentamicin was not delayed by the concomitant injection of daptomycin. The results confirm that daptomycin can attenuate experimental gentamicin nephrotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC188145  PMID: 8067733
10.  Subcellular distribution of daptomycin given alone or with tobramycin in renal proximal tubular cells. 
Previous studies in experimental animals showed that daptomycin, a lipopeptide antibiotic, protects against aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity (C. A. Wood, H. C. Finkbeiner, S. J. Kohlhepp, P. W. Kohnen, and D. N. Gilbert, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 33:1280-1285, 1989; D. Beauchamp, M. Pellerin, P. Gourde, M. Pettigrew, and M. G. Bergeron, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 34:139-147, 1990). In order to better understand the mechanism involved in this protective effect, the subcellular distribution of daptomycin was investigated in the proximal tubular cells of animals treated with daptomycin alone or in combination with tobramycin. A first group of female Sprague-Dawley rats received a single intravenous injection of daptomycin at a dose of 100 mg/kg of body weight and were killed at 10 min, 1 h, or 24 h after the injection. Other groups of rats were treated during 10 days with saline (NaCl, 0.9%), tobramycin at dosages of 20 mg/kg/12 h, daptomycin at dosages of 10 mg/kg/12 h, or the combination tobramycin-daptomycin at the same dosages. At the time of sacrifice, the renal cortex of the right kidney of each animal was dissected, and small blocks of tissue were fixed, dehydrated, and embedded in Araldite 502 epoxy resin. The subcellular distribution of daptomycin and tobramycin was determined on ultrathin sections by immunogold labeling. Ten minutes after the injection of daptomycin alone, gold particles were seen over the brush border membrane and on the membranes of the endocytic vacuoles of proximal tubular cells. One hour after the injection, a similar distribution was seen and numerous gold particles were found over the lysosomes of proximal tubular cells. The results suggest that daptomycin might protect against aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity by interfering with the interaction between the aminoglycoside and phospholipids inside the lysosomes of proximal tubular cells.
PMCID: PMC284424  PMID: 8192441
11.  Single-dose cephalexin therapy for acute bacterial urinary tract infections and acute urethral syndrome with bladder bacteriuria. 
The efficacy of single-dose therapy with 3 g of cephalexin was evaluated in 129 women with symptoms of acute uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections. Of 91 patients with significant bacteriuria, 61 (67%) were cured of their original infection; this was similar to the 54 to 79% cure rates reported in unselected populations of women of a wide age range treated for acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections with a single dose of amoxicillin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (J. Rosenstock, L. P. Smith, M. Gurney, K. Lee, W. G. Weinberg, J. N. Longfield, W. B. Tauber, and W. W. Karney, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 27:652-654, 1985; N. E. Tolkoff-Rubin, M. E. Wilson, P. Zuromskis, I. Jacoby, A. R. Martin, and R. H. Rubin, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 25:626-629, 1984). The cure rates of (87%) for our younger patients, those less than 25 years of age, was better than that (46%) for our patients over 40 years of age (P less than 0.001). Patients with infections that were negative in an antibody-coated bacteria test were cured at a significantly higher rate than those with infections that were positive in an antibody-coated bacteria test (71 versus 19%; P = 0.003). Those patients with infections caused by cephalexin-susceptible organisms were cured at a rate similar to that for patients with infections caused by cephalexin-resistant organisms (68 versus 50%; P = 0.62). The cure rate for suburban patients was 90%, versus 45% for inner-city patients (P = 0.008). Of the 28 women with acute urethral syndrome due to low-level bacteriuria, 27 were cured.
PMCID: PMC180398  PMID: 3717940
12.  Role of efflux pump(s) in intrinsic resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: resistance to tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and norfloxacin. 
Most strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa are significantly more resistant, even in the absence of R plasmids, to many antimicrobial agents, including beta-lactams, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and fluoroquinolones, than most other gram-negative rods. This broad-range resistance has so far been assumed to be mainly due to the low permeability of the P. aeruginosa outer membrane. The intrinsic-resistance phenotype becomes further enhanced in "intrinsically carbenicillin-resistant" isolates, which were often assumed to produce outer membranes of even lower permeability. It has been shown, however, that this hypothesis cannot explain the beta-lactam resistance of these isolates (D.M. Livermore and K.W.M. Davy, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 35:916-921, 1991). In this study, we examined the uptake of tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and norfloxacin by intact cells using strains showing widely different levels of intrinsic resistance. Their accumulation and the response to the addition of a proton conductor showed that even relatively susceptible strains of P. aeruginosa actively pump out these compounds from the cell and that the efflux activity becomes much stronger in strains showing higher levels of intrinsic resistance. We conclude that the efflux mechanism(s) are likely to contribute significantly to the intrinsic resistance of P. aeruginosa isolates to tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and fluoroquinolones, as does the low permeability of the outer membrane. This conclusion is supported by the observation that the hypersusceptibility to various agents of the mutant K799/61 (W. Zimmermann, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 18:94-100, 1980) was apparently caused by the lack of active efflux. Although the hypersusceptibility of this mutant has hitherto been assumed to be solely due to its higher outer membrane permeability, its outer membrane was shown to have a coefficient of permeability to cephaloridine that was not significantly different from that of the parent, resistant strain K799/WT. The strains with elevated intrinsic resistance overproduced two cytoplasmic membrane proteins and one outer membrane protein; at least two of these proteins appeared different from the proteins overproduced in the recently described mutant with a derepressed multidrug efflux system, MexA-MexB-OprK (K. Poole, K. Krebes, C. McNally, and S. Neshat, J. Bacteriol. 175:7363-7372, 1993).
PMCID: PMC284630  PMID: 7986003
13.  Daptomycin may attenuate experimental tobramycin nephrotoxicity by electrostatic complexation to tobramycin. 
The lipopeptidic antibiotic daptomycin is reported to reduce experimental tobramycin nephrotoxicity (D. Beauchamp, M. Pellerin, P. Gourde, M. Pettigrew and M. G. Bergeron, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 34:139-147, 1990; C. A. Wood, H. C. Finkbeiner, S. J. Kohlhepp, P. W. Kohnen, and D. C. Gilbert, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 33:1280-1285, 1989). In an attempt to explain these results, the in vivo and in vitro interactions between daptomycin and tobramycin were studied. Tobramycin alone and preincubated with negatively charged phospholipid bilayers (liposomes) was dialyzed against increasing concentrations of daptomycin in buffer at pH 5.4. A significant drop in the concentration of tobramycin was observed when daptomycin was added to the opposite half cells. Furthermore, daptomycin induced a concentration-dependent release of lipid-bound tobramycin. Gold labeling experiments showed that daptomycin could be incorporated into phospholipid layers. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with daptomycin alone, with tobramycin alone, or with the combination over 2 to 10 days. Levels of daptomycin and tobramycin in serum were similar in all groups. The levels of tobramycin in the renal cortex increased significantly with time and, on day 10, reached values of 654 +/- 122 and 844 +/- 298 micrograms/g of tissue (mean +/- standard deviation; not significant) in animals treated with tobramycin and the combination of daptomycin-tobramycin, respectively. No significant difference was observed in the levels of tobramycin in the kidneys between animals treated with tobramycin or the daptomycin-tobramycin combination at any time. By contrast, daptomycin levels were significantly higher in the renal cortexes of animals treated with daptomycin-tobramycin in comparison with those in the renal cortexes of animals treated with daptomycin alone on days 6,8, and 10 (P < 0.01). For immunogold labeling studies, animals were killed 4 h after a single injection of daptomycin alone or daptomycin in combination with tobramycin. Daptomycin was found throughout the matrixes of the lysosomes of proximal tubular cells of animals treated with daptomycin alone. In animals treated with the combination of daptomycin and tobramycin, daptomycin was associated with intralysosomal myeloid bodies. Our results suggest that daptomycin might attenuate experimental aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity by interacting with the aminoglycoside, perhaps electrostatically, and thereby protecting intracellular targets of toxicity.
PMCID: PMC284536  PMID: 8031040
14.  Paradoxical activity of beta-lactam antibiotics against Proteus vulgaris in experimental infection in mice. 
In previous papers (Y. Ikeda and T. Nishino, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 32:1073-1077, 1988; Y. Ikeda, T. Nishino, and T. Tanino, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 31:865-869, 1987), we reported that many of the 7-aminothiazolyl cephalosporins, such as cefmenoxime, showed paradoxically reduced activity against Proteus vulgaris at higher concentrations, whereas these paradoxical effects were not observed for other types of cephalosporins, such as cefbuperazone and cefoperazone. In this study, we compare the therapeutic effect of cefmenoxime with that of cefbuperazone and explore the in vivo paradoxical effect of cefmenoxime by using an experimental infection model in mice. In an intraperitoneal infection with P. vulgaris 11, the survival rate with cefmenoxime was increased to 43% at 3.13 mg/kg but was lower at higher doses. On the other hand, cefbuperazone did not show such a paradoxical therapeutic effect. In mice infected with P. vulgaris 11, cefmenoxime levels in both serum and peritoneal washings were rapidly reduced and beta-lactamase activities in the peritoneal cavity were increased at higher cefmenoxime doses. These findings suggested that high levels of cefmenoxime at the infection site induced increased production of beta-lactamase, which then rapidly inactivated the antibiotic. We conclude that the paradoxical therapeutic effect of cefmenoxime against P. vulgaris occurs by the same mechanisms as the in vitro effect and that the high beta-lactamase inducibility and low beta-lactamase stability may account for the paradoxical therapeutic effect of cefmenoxime against P. vulgaris.
PMCID: PMC171526  PMID: 2183712
15.  Lipopolysaccharide-Binding Alkylpolyamine DS-96 Inhibits Chlamydia trachomatis Infection by Blocking Attachment and Entry 
Vaginally delivered microbicides are being developed to offer women self-initiated protection against transmission of sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia trachomatis. A small molecule, DS-96, rationally designed for high affinity to Escherichia coli lipid A, was previously demonstrated to bind and neutralize lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from a wide variety of Gram-negative bacteria (D. Sil et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 51:2811–2819, 2007, doi:10.1128/AAC.00200-07). Aside from the lack of the repeating O antigen, chlamydial lipooligosaccharide (LOS) shares general molecular architecture features with E. coli LPS. Importantly, the portion of lipid A where the interaction with DS-96 is expected to take place is well conserved between the two organisms, leading to the hypothesis that DS-96 inhibits Chlamydia infection by binding to LOS and compromising the function. In this study, antichlamydial activity of DS-96 was examined in cell culture. DS-96 inhibited the intercellular growth of Chlamydia in a dose-dependent manner and offered a high level of inhibition at a relatively low concentration (8 μM). The data also revealed that infectious elementary bodies (EBs) were predominantly blocked at the attachment step, as indicated by the reduced number of EBs associated with the host cell surface following pretreatment. Of those EBs that were capable of attachment, the vast majority was unable to gain entry into the host cell. Inhibition of EB attachment and entry by DS-96 suggests that Chlamydia LOS is critical to these processes during the developmental cycle. Importantly, given the low association of host toxicity previously reported by Sil et al., DS-96 is expected to perform well in animal studies as an active antichlamydial compound in a vaginal microbicide.
PMCID: PMC4068484  PMID: 24663021
16.  Evaluation of PD 404,182 as an Anti-HIV and Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Microbicide 
PD 404,182 (PD) is a synthetic compound that was found to compromise HIV integrity via interaction with a nonenvelope protein viral structural component (A. M. Chamoun et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 56:672–681, 2012). The present study evaluates the potential of PD as an anti-HIV microbicide and establishes PD's virucidal activity toward another pathogen, herpes simplex virus (HSV). We show that the anti-HIV-1 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of PD, when diluted in seminal plasma, is ∼1 μM, similar to the IC50 determined in cell culture growth medium, and that PD retains full anti-HIV-1 activity after incubation in cervical fluid at 37°C for at least 24 h. In addition, PD is nontoxic toward vaginal commensal Lactobacillus species (50% cytotoxic concentration [CC50], >300 μM), freshly activated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (CC50, ∼200 μM), and primary CD4+ T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells (CC50, >300 μM). PD also exhibited high stability in pH-adjusted Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline with little to no activity loss after 8 weeks at pH 4 and 42°C, indicating suitability for formulation for transportation and storage in developing countries. Finally, for the first time, we show that PD inactivates herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2 at submicromolar concentrations. Due to the prevalence of HSV infection, the ability of PD to inactivate HSV may provide an additional incentive for use as a microbicide. The ability of PD to inactivate both HIV-1 and HSV, combined with its low toxicity and high stability, warrants additional studies for the evaluation of PD's microbicidal candidacy in animals and humans.
PMCID: PMC3910842  PMID: 24217696
17.  Efficacy of Tecovirimat (ST-246) in Nonhuman Primates Infected with Variola Virus (Smallpox) 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2013;57(12):6246-6253.
Naturally occurring smallpox has been eradicated but remains a considerable threat as a biowarfare/bioterrorist weapon (F. Fleck, Bull. World Health Organ. 81:917–918, 2003). While effective, the smallpox vaccine is currently not recommended for routine use in the general public due to safety concerns ( Safe and effective countermeasures, particularly those effective after exposure to smallpox, are needed. Currently, SIGA Technologies is developing the small-molecule oral drug, tecovirimat (previously known as ST-246), as a postexposure therapeutic treatment of orthopoxvirus disease, including smallpox. Tecovirimat has been shown to be efficacious in preventing lethal orthopoxviral disease in numerous animal models (G. Yang, D. C. Pevear, M. H. Davies, M. S. Collett, T. Bailey, et al., J. Virol. 79:13139–13149, 2005; D. C. Quenelle, R. M. Buller, S. Parker, K. A. Keith, D. E. Hruby, et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 51:689–695, 2007; E. Sbrana, R. Jordan, D. E. Hruby, R. I. Mateo, S. Y. Xiao, et al., Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 76:768–773, 2007). Furthermore, in clinical trials thus far, the drug appears to be safe, with a good pharmacokinetic profile. In this study, the efficacy of tecovirimat was evaluated in both a prelesional and postlesional setting in nonhuman primates challenged intravenously with 1 × 108 PFU of Variola virus (VARV; the causative agent of smallpox), a model for smallpox disease in humans. Following challenge, 50% of placebo-treated controls succumbed to infection, while all tecovirimat-treated animals survived regardless of whether treatment was started at 2 or 4 days postinfection. In addition, tecovirimat treatment resulted in dramatic reductions in dermal lesion counts, oropharyngeal virus shedding, and viral DNA circulating in the blood. Although clinical disease was evident in tecovirimat-treated animals, it was generally very mild and appeared to resolve earlier than in placebo-treated controls that survived infection. Tecovirimat appears to be an effective smallpox therapeutic in nonhuman primates, suggesting that it is reasonably likely to provide therapeutic benefit in smallpox-infected humans.
PMCID: PMC3837858  PMID: 24100494
18.  Induced Resistance to Methionyl-tRNA Synthetase Inhibitors in Trypanosoma brucei Is Due to Overexpression of the Target 
New classes of antiparasitic drugs active against Trypanosoma brucei are needed to combat human African trypanosomiasis. Inhibitors of methionyl-tRNA synthetase (MetRS) have excellent potential to be developed for this purpose (S. Shibata, J. R. Gillespie, A. M. Kelley, A. J. Napuli, Z. Zhang, K. V. Kovzun, R. M. Pefley, J. Lam, F. H. Zucker, W. C. Van Voorhis, E. A. Merritt, W. G. Hol, C. L. Verlinde, E. Fan, and F. S. Buckner, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 55:1982–1989, 2011). In order to assess the potential for resistance to develop against this new class of inhibitors, T. brucei cultures were grown in the presence of MetRS inhibitors or comparison drugs. Resistance up to ∼50 times the baseline 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) was induced against a MetRS inhibitor after ∼120 days. A similar level of resistance to the clinical drug eflornithine was induced after ∼50 days and for pentamidine after ∼80 days. Thus, resistance was induced more slowly against MetRS inhibitors than against clinically used drugs. The parasites resistant to the MetRS inhibitor were shown to overexpress MetRS mRNA by a factor of 35 over the parental strain. Southern analysis indicated that the MetRS gene was amplified in the genome by nearly 8-fold. When injected into mice, the MetRS inhibitor-resistant parasites caused a reduced level of infection, indicating that the changes associated with resistance attenuated their virulence. This finding and the fact that resistance to MetRS inhibitors developed relatively slowly are encouraging for further development of this class of compounds. Published studies on other antitrypanosomal drugs have primarily shown that alterations in membrane transporters were the mechanisms responsible for resistance. This is the first published report of induced drug resistance in the African trypanosome due to overexpression of the target enzyme.
PMCID: PMC3697344  PMID: 23587950
19.  Monte Carlo Simulations Based on Phase 1 Studies Predict Target Attainment of Ceftobiprole in Nosocomial Pneumonia Patients: a Validation Study 
Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) of antimicrobial dosage regimens during drug development to derive predicted target attainment values is frequently used to choose the optimal dose for the treatment of patients in phase 2 and 3 studies. A criticism is that pharmacokinetic (PK) parameter estimates and variability in healthy volunteers are smaller than those in patients. In this study, the initial estimates of exposure from MCS were compared with actual exposure data in patients treated with ceftobiprole in a phase 3 nosocomial-pneumonia (NP) study (NTC00210964). Results of MCS using population PK data from ceftobiprole derived from 12 healthy volunteers were used (J. W. Mouton, A. Schmitt-Hoffmann, S. Shapiro, N. Nashed, N. C. Punt, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 48:1713–1718, 2004). Actual individual exposures in patients were derived after building a population pharmacokinetic model and were used to calculate the individual exposure to ceftobiprole (the percentage of time the unbound concentration exceeds the MIC [percent fT > MIC]) for a range of MIC values. For the ranges of percent fT > MIC used to determine the dosage schedule in the phase 3 NP study, the MCS using data from a single phase 1 study in healthy volunteers accurately predicted the actual clinical exposure to ceftobiprole. The difference at 50% fT > MIC at an MIC of 4 mg/liter was 3.5% for PK-sampled patients. For higher values of percent fT > MIC and MICs, the MCS slightly underestimated the target attainment, probably due to extreme values in the PK profile distribution used in the simulations. The probability of target attainment based on MCS in healthy volunteers adequately predicted the actual exposures in a patient population, including severely ill patients.
PMCID: PMC3632954  PMID: 23403430
20.  STB5 Is a Negative Regulator of Azole Resistance in Candida glabrata 
The opportunistic yeast pathogen Candida glabrata is recognized for its ability to acquire resistance during prolonged treatment with azole antifungals (J. E. Bennett, K. Izumikawa, and K. A. Marr. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 48:1773–1777, 2004). Resistance to azoles is largely mediated by the transcription factor PDR1, resulting in the upregulation of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins and drug efflux. Studies in the related yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have shown that Pdr1p forms a heterodimer with another transcription factor, Stb5p. In C. glabrata, the open reading frame (ORF) designated CAGL0I02552g has 38.8% amino acid identity with STB5 (YHR178w) and shares an N-terminal Zn2Cys6 binuclear cluster domain and a fungus-specific transcriptional factor domain, prompting us to test for homologous function and a possible role in azole resistance. Complementation of a Δyhr178w (Δstb5) mutant with CAGL0I02552g resolved the increased sensitivity to cold, hydrogen peroxide, and caffeine of the mutant, for which reason we designated CAGl0I02552g CgSTB5. Overexpression of CgSTB5 in C. glabrata repressed azole resistance, whereas deletion of CgSTB5 caused a modest increase in resistance. Expression analysis found that CgSTB5 shares many transcriptional targets with CgPDR1 but, unlike the latter, is a negative regulator of pleiotropic drug resistance, including the ABC transporter genes CDR1, PDH1, and YOR1.
PMCID: PMC3553707  PMID: 23229483
21.  Cytostatic versus Cytocidal Activities of Chloroquine Analogues and Inhibition of Hemozoin Crystal Growth 
We report an improved, nonhazardous, high-throughput assay for in vitro quantification of antimalarial drug inhibition of β-hematin (hemozoin) crystallization performed under conditions that are more physiological relative to previous assays. The assay uses the differential detergent solubility of crystalline and noncrystalline forms of heme and is optimized via the use of lipid catalyst. Using this assay, we quantify the effect of pH on the crystal growth-inhibitory activities of current quinoline antimalarials, evaluate the catalytic efficiencies of different lipids, and test for a possible correlation between hemozoin inhibition by drugs versus their antiplasmodial activity. Consistent with several previous reports, we found a good correlation between hemozoin inhibition potency versus cytostatic antiplasmodial potency (50% inhibitory concentration) for a series of chloroquine (CQ) analogues. However, we found no correlation between hemozoin inhibition potency and cytocidal antiplasmodial potency (50% lethal dose) for the same drugs, suggesting that cellular targets for these two layers of 4-aminoquinoline drug activity differ. This important concept is also explored further for QN and its stereoisomers in the accompanying paper (A. P. Gorka, K. S. Sherlach, A. C. de Dios, and P. D. Roepe, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 57:365–374, 2013).
PMCID: PMC3535939  PMID: 23114783
22.  Influence of the Protein Kinase C Activator Phorbol Myristate Acetate on the Intracellular Activity of Antibiotics against Hemin- and Menadione-Auxotrophic Small-Colony Variant Mutants of Staphylococcus aureus and Their Wild-Type Parental Strain in Human THP-1 Cells 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2012;56(12):6166-6174.
In a previous study (L. G. Garcia et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 56:3700–3711, 2012), we evaluated the intracellular fate of menD and hemB mutants (corresponding to menadione- and hemin-dependent small-colony variants, respectively) of the parental COL methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain and the pharmacodynamic profile of the intracellular activity of a series of antibiotics in human THP-1 monocytes. We have now examined the phagocytosis and intracellular persistence of the same strains in THP-1 cells activated by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and measured the intracellular activity of gentamicin, moxifloxacin, and oritavancin in these cells. Postphagocytosis intracellular counts and intracellular survival were lower in PMA-activated cells, probably due to their higher killing capacities. Gentamicin and moxifloxacin showed a 5- to 7-fold higher potency (lower static concentrations) against the parental strain, its hemB mutant, and the genetically complemented strain in PMA-activated cells and against the menD strain in both activated and nonactivated cells. This effect was inhibited when cells were incubated with N-acetylcysteine (a scavenger of oxidant species). In parallel, we observed that the MICs of these drugs were markedly reduced if bacteria had been preexposed to H2O2. In contrast, the intracellular potency of oritavancin was not different in activated and nonactivated cells and was not decreased by the addition of N-acetylcysteine, regardless of the phenotype of the strains. The oritavancin MIC was also unaffected by preincubation of the bacteria with H2O2. Thus, activation of THP-1 cells by PMA may increase the intracellular potency of certain antibiotics (probably due to synergy with reactive oxygen species), but this effect cannot be generalized to all antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC3497167  PMID: 22985883
23.  Reduced Expression of the rplU-rpmA Ribosomal Protein Operon in mexXY-Expressing Pan-Aminoglycoside-Resistant Mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2012;56(10):5171-5179.
Pan-aminoglycoside-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutants expressing the mexXY components of the aminoglycoside-accommodating MexXY-OprM multidrug efflux system but lacking mutations in the mexZ gene encoding a repressor of this efflux system and in the mexXY promoter have been reported (S. Fraud and K. Poole, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 55:1068–1074, 2011). Genome sequencing of one of these mutants, K2966, revealed the presence of a mutation within the predicted promoter region of the rplU-rpmA operon encoding ribosomal proteins L21 and L27, consistent with an observed 2-fold decrease in expression of this operon in the mutant relative to wild-type P. aeruginosa PAO1. Moreover, correction of the mutation restored rplU-rpmA expression and, significantly, reversed the elevated mexXY expression and pan-aminoglycoside resistance of the mutant. Reduced rplU-rpmA expression was also observed in a second mexXY-expressing pan-aminoglycoside-resistant mutant, K2968, which, however, lacked a mutation in the rplU-rpmA promoter region. Restoration of rplU-rpmA expression in the K2968 mutant following chromosomal integration of the rplU-rpmA operon derived from wild-type P. aeruginosa failed, however, to reverse the elevated mexXY expression and pan-aminoglycoside resistance of this mutant, although it did so for K2966, suggesting that the mutation impacting rplU-rpmA expression in K2968 also impacts other mexXY-related genes. Increased mexXY expression owing to reduced rplU-rpmA expression in K2966 and K2968 was dependent on PA5471, whose expression was also elevated in these mutants. Thus, mutational disruption of ribosome function, by limiting expression of ribosomal constituents, promotes recruitment of mexXY and does so via PA5471, reminiscent of mexXY induction by ribosome-disrupting antimicrobial agents. Interestingly, reduced rplU-rpmA expression was also observed in a mexXY-expressing pan-aminoglycoside-resistant clinical isolate, suggesting that ribosome-perturbing mutations have clinical relevance in the recruitment of the MexXY-OprM aminoglycoside resistance determinant.
PMCID: PMC3457373  PMID: 22825121
24.  Characterization of RarA, a Novel AraC Family Multidrug Resistance Regulator in Klebsiella pneumoniae 
Transcriptional regulators, such as SoxS, RamA, MarA, and Rob, which upregulate the AcrAB efflux pump, have been shown to be associated with multidrug resistance in clinically relevant Gram-negative bacteria. In addition to the multidrug resistance phenotype, these regulators have also been shown to play a role in the cellular metabolism and possibly the virulence potential of microbial cells. As such, the increased expression of these proteins is likely to cause pleiotropic phenotypes. Klebsiella pneumoniae is a major nosocomial pathogen which can express the SoxS, MarA, Rob, and RamA proteins, and the accompanying paper shows that the increased transcription of ramA is associated with tigecycline resistance (M. Veleba and T. Schneiders, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 56:4466–4467, 2012). Bioinformatic analyses of the available Klebsiella genome sequences show that an additional AraC-type regulator is encoded chromosomally. In this work, we characterize this novel AraC-type regulator, hereby called RarA (Regulator of antibiotic resistance A), which is encoded in K. pneumoniae, Enterobacter sp. 638, Serratia proteamaculans 568, and Enterobacter cloacae. We show that the overexpression of rarA results in a multidrug resistance phenotype which requires a functional AcrAB efflux pump but is independent of the other AraC regulators. Quantitative real-time PCR experiments show that rarA (MGH 78578 KPN_02968) and its neighboring efflux pump operon oqxAB (KPN_02969_02970) are consistently upregulated in clinical isolates collected from various geographical locations (Chile, Turkey, and Germany). Our results suggest that rarA overexpression upregulates the oqxAB efflux pump. Additionally, it appears that oqxR, encoding a GntR-type regulator adjacent to the oqxAB operon, is able to downregulate the expression of the oqxAB efflux pump, where OqxR complementation resulted in reductions to olaquindox MICs.
PMCID: PMC3421627  PMID: 22644028
25.  Molecular Characterization of vanB Elements in Naturally Occurring Gut Anaerobes 
Previously, we reported the isolation of 10 vancomycin-resistant gram-positive anaerobic bacilli carrying the vanB ligase gene from nine hemodialysis patients (S. A. Ballard et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 49:77-81, 2005; T. P. Stinear et al., Lancet 357:855-856, 2001). In the present study, the molecular and evolutionary relationship of the vanB resistance element within these 10 anaerobes and two vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium strains were examined. PCR analysis and nucleotide sequencing demonstrated that all 12 isolates carried the vanB operon associated with an element identical to Tn1549 and Tn5382 of Enterococcus. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the vanB operon in these isolates revealed two distinct patterns, and sequencing showed that minor base differences existed. PCR amplification of the joint region of a circular intermediate was demonstrated in nine of these organisms, a finding indicative of an ability to excise and circularize, an intermediate step in transposition and conjugative transfer. Southern hybridization with a vanB-vanXB probe suggests that there is one insert of the transposon in all isolates. Sequence analysis of the integration site revealed distinct sequences: the Tn1549/5382 element within E. faecium was inserted within the host chromosome, whereas nucleotide sequences surrounding the Tn1549/5382 element in the 10 anaerobes showed no significant homology to sequences in the GenBank database. We demonstrate considerable similarity between the Tn1549/5382 element identified in 10 anaerobe isolates with that found in enterococci. The homology and potential to transpose suggest a recent horizontal transfer event may have occurred. However, the original direction of transposition and the mechanism involved remains unknown.
PMCID: PMC1087664  PMID: 15855482

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