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1.  Delivery of antibiotics to the eye using a positively charged polysaccharide as vehicle 
AAPS PharmSci  2001;3(4):87-93.
The positively charged polysaccharide chitosan is able to increase precorneal residence time of ophthalmic formulations containing active compounds when compared with simple aqueous solutions. The purpose of the study was to evaluate tear concentration of tobramycin and ofloxacin after topical application of chitosan-based formulations containing 0.3% wt/vol of antibiotic and to compare them with 2 commercial solutions: Tobrex® and Floxal®, respectively. The influence of the molecular weight, deacetylation degree, and concentration of 4 different samples of chitosan on pharmacokinetic parameters (area under the curve values [AUCeff] and time of efficacy [teff]) of tobramycin and ofloxacin in tears was investigated over time. It was demonstrated that the 2 chitosan products of high molecular weight (1350 and 1930 kd) and low deacetylation degree (50%) significantly increased antibiotic availability when compared to the controls, with AUCeff showing a 2-to 3-fold improvement. The time of efficacy of ofloxacin was significantly increased from about 25 minutes to 46 minutes by the chitosan of higher Mw (1930 kd) at a concentration of 0.5% wt/vol, whereas a similar performance was achieved by a chitosan of low Mw (580 kd) at a concentration of 1.5% wt/vol in the case of tobramycin.
PMCID: PMC2751223  PMID: 12066799
Chitosan; hydrogel; ophthalmic application; antibiotic; pharmacokinetics
2.  Presence of tobramycin in blood and urine during selective decontamination of the digestive tract in critically ill patients, a prospective cohort study 
Critical Care  2011;15(5):R240.
Tobramycin is one of the components used for selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD), applied to prevent colonization and subsequent infections in critically ill patients. Tobramycin is administered in the oropharynx and gastrointestinal tract and is normally not absorbed. However, critical illness may convey gut barrier failure. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and amount of tobramycin leakage from the gut into the blood, to quantify tobramycin excretion in urine, and to determine the association of tobramycin leakage with markers of circulation, kidney function and other organ failure.
This was a prospective observational cohort study. The setting was the 20-bed closed format-mixed ICU of a teaching hospital. The study population was critically ill patients with an expected stay of more than two days, receiving SDD with tobramycin, polymyxin-E and amphotericin-B four times daily in the oropharynx and stomach. Tobramycin concentration was measured in serum (sensitive high performance liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (HLPC-MS/MS) assay) and 24-hour urine (conventional immunoassay), in 34 patients, 24 hours after ICU admission, and in 71 patients, once daily for 7 days. Tobramycin leakage was defined as tobramycin detected in serum at least once (> 0.05 mg/L). Ototoxicity was not monitored.
Of the 100 patients with available blood samples, 83 had tobramycin leakage. Median highest serum concentration for each patient was 0.12 mg/L; 99% of the patients had at least one positive urinary sample (> 0.5 mg/L), 49% had a urinary concentration ≥ 1 mg/L. The highest tobramycin serum concentration was significantly associated with vasopressor support, renal and hepatic dysfunction, and C-reactive protein. At binary logistic regression analysis, high dopamine dose and low urinary output on Day 1 were the significant predictors of tobramycin leakage. Nephrotoxicity could not be shown.
The majority of acute critically ill patients treated with enteral tobramycin as a component of SDD had traces of tobramycin in the blood, especially those with severe shock, inflammation and subsequent acute kidney injury, suggesting loss of gut barrier and decreased renal removal. Unexpectedly, urinary tobramycin was above the therapeutic trough level in half of the patients. Nephrotoxicity could not be demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC3334791  PMID: 22004661
3.  Impact of Meropenem in Combination with Tobramycin in a Murine Model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pneumonia 
Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia remains a difficult therapeutic problem. Optimal doses and modes of administration of single agents often do not result in acceptable outcomes. Further, emergence of resistance occurs frequently in this setting with single-agent chemotherapy. The purpose of these experiments was to evaluate combination chemotherapy with meropenem plus tobramycin for P. aeruginosa in a murine pneumonia model. Neutropenia was induced by cyclophosphamide. Pharmacokinetics of meropenem and tobramycin were determined using a population pharmacokinetic approach. Both drugs were given at 4-h intervals. Meropenem was administered as total daily doses of 30 to 600 mg/kg of body weight, while tobramycin doses ranged from 50 to 400 mg/kg. Combination therapy evaluated all combinations of 50, 100, and 150 mg/kg/day of tobramycin doses with 60 or 300 mg/kg/day of meropenem. Total and drug-resistant organisms were enumerated. Meropenem alone had a near-maximal effect at 60 mg/kg/day (3.18 log10 [CFU/g] kill from stasis). The time > MIC in epithelial lining fluid (ELF) at this dose was 35.25% of 24 h. For tobramycin alone, the near-maximal effect was at 150 mg/kg/day and the area under the concentration-time curve over 24 h in the steady state divided by the MIC (AUC/MIC ratio) in ELF was 240.3. Resistance suppression occurred at an ELF AUC/MIC ratio of 110.6. For combination therapy, the near-maximal effect was reached at 60 mg/kg/day and 50 mg/kg/day of meropenem and tobramycin, which produced a 35.25% time > MIC in ELF and an ELF AUC/MIC ratio of 80.1. The interaction was additive. All combination regimens suppressed resistance. Combination therapy produced additive drug interaction and suppressed all resistance amplification. It is likely that optimal therapy for Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia will involve a combination of agents.
PMCID: PMC3716130  PMID: 23571540
4.  Breakpoints for Predicting Pseudomonas aeruginosa Susceptibility to Inhaled Tobramycin in Cystic Fibrosis Patients: Use of High-Range Etest Strips 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(9):4480-4485.
Inhaled administration of tobramycin assures high concentrations in cystic fibrotic lungs, improving the therapeutic ratio over that of parenteral tobramycin levels, particularly against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Conventional Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI; formerly National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards) breakpoints only consider parenteral levels and do not take into account these high antimicrobial concentrations. The Spanish Antibiogram Committee (The MENSURA Group) has tentatively defined specific breakpoint values for inhaled tobramycin when testing P. aeruginosa isolates from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients (susceptible, ≤64 μg/ml; resistant, ≥128 μg/ml). The antimicrobial susceptibilities of 206 prospectively collected CF P. aeruginosa isolates were determined by the reference agar dilution method. For tobramycin, the performance of high range tobramycin Etest strips (AB Biodisk, Solna, Sweden) and conventional tobramycin disks were assessed with the same collection. Applying MENSURA proposed breakpoints, 95.1% of the strains were categorized as susceptible to tobramycin, either using agar dilution or Etest high-range strips (99% categorical agreement between both methods). With CLSI breakpoints, susceptibility rates decreased to 79.1 and 81.1% for agar dilution and Etest strips, respectively (83.5% categorical agreement). Minor, major, and very major errors for Etest strips (CLSI criteria) were 13.6, 1.2, and 14.8%, respectively. Upon applying the new proposed criteria for inhaled tobramycin, only one major and one very major error were observed with Etest strips. Whenever inhaled tobramycin is considered for therapy, we suggest that P. aeruginosa strains from CF patients categorized as intermediate or resistant to tobramycin according to the CLSI criteria should be retested with high-range Etest strips and recategorized using MENSURA interpretive criteria. CLSI breakpoints should still be followed when intravenous tobramycin is used in CF patients, particularly during the course of exacerbations.
PMCID: PMC1234086  PMID: 16145095
5.  Effects of polyaspartic acid on pharmacokinetics of tobramycin in two strains of rat. 
To provide insight into polyaspartic acid nephroprotection and differences in aminoglycoside renal toxicity between two rat strains, the single-dose pharmacokinetics of tobramycin was examined in the presence and absence of polyaspartic acid. Following a single subcutaneous 6.5-mg/kg dose of tobramycin alone, higher aminoglycoside concentrations were measured in Sprague-Dawley rats than in Fischer rats (P < 0.05). Simultaneous administration of polyaspartic acid (50 mg/kg) and tobramycin did not alter the concentrations of tobramycin in serum. The amount of tobramycin in renal tissue and the amount recovered in urine over a 24-h period were greater in both rat strains when tobramycin and polyaspartic acid were given concomitantly. In summary, polyaspartic acid did not alter the concentrations in serum achieved after a single dose of tobramycin in two different rat strains but did result in higher renal concentrations and greater urinary excretion of tobramycin.
PMCID: PMC284400  PMID: 8141585
6.  Altered tobramycin pharmacokinetics during chemoprophylaxis in bladder surgery. 
The effect of bladder surgery on the pharmacokinetics of tobramycin in hospitalized patients was studied. Fourteen patients with vesical neoplasia undergoing urinary tract surgery were given tobramycin in a dose of 2 mg/kg of body weight. Each patient received the dose at the induction of anesthesia, about 1 h before surgical incision. For seven patients, the drug was also administered 3 weeks later when nutritional conditions were normal. The pharmacokinetic parameters were determined by a two-compartment open model. Except for renal clearance, no significant difference appeared between pharmacokinetic parameters determined from serum data during peri- and postoperative periods. During this work, tobramycin excretion in urine was studied. Twenty-four hours after drug administration, the mean urine tobramycin levels were 25.5 +/- 9.06 and 41.6 +/- 21.5 micrograms/ml after peri- and postoperative administration, respectively; these values were higher than the MICs for most urinary tract pathogens. Seventy-two hours after perioperative administration, the mean value was still elevated (3.54 micrograms/ml), but 72 h after postoperative administration, the urinary tobramycin concentration was not detectable. The percentages of tobramycin recovered unchanged in urine were 54 and 79% after peri- and postoperative administration, respectively. When tobramycin was administered during surgery, a long terminal log-linear phase, with a mean half-life of 25.6 h, was detected. The ratio of renal clearance to total body clearance was 0.52 and 0.79 after peri- and postoperative administration, respectively.
PMCID: PMC245189  PMID: 1929308
7.  Pharmacokinetics of the Aminoglycoside Antibiotic Tobramycin in Humans 
The pharmacokinetics, distribution, and plasma and renal clearance of a new aminoglycoside antibiotic, tobramycin, was studied in the treatment of 18 elderly male patients (average age, 69 years) with urinary tract infections. Ten of these patients had normal renal function and eight had impaired renal function of various degrees. After administration of 1 mg of tobramycin/kg of body weight every 6 to 8 h (two to three times the half-life), urine concentrations were found to be sufficient in the treatment of urinary tract infections caused by susceptible organisms. The renal clearance of tobramycin during constant intravenous infusion was also studied in eight patients. Good correlation was found between the patients serum creatinine and the half-life of tobramycin. The half-life of tobramycin in patients with normal renal function (serum creatine [Formula: see text] to 1.5 mg/100) was on the average 3 h. For practical purposes, therefore, the dosage of tobramycin in the treatment of urinary tract infections should be 1 mg/kg of body weight every 6 to 8 h in patients with normal renal function. For patients with impaired renal function, the dosage interval is calculated by multiplying the patients' serum creatinine by six. If the dosage intervals are kept unchanged, the dosage must be divided by the patients' serum creatinine. The initial loading dose should always be 1 mg/kg. The total renal clearance of tobramycin (92% of the glomerular filtration rate) was not influenced by the administration of probenecid, which indicates that tobramycin is excreted only by glomerular filtration.
PMCID: PMC444436  PMID: 4208290
8.  Pharmacokinetics and Efficacies of Liposomal and Conventional Formulations of Tobramycin after Intratracheal Administration in Rats with Pulmonary Burkholderia cepacia Infection 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2002;46(12):3776-3781.
The objective of the present study was to determine the pharmacokinetics and efficacies of liposomal and conventional formulations of tobramycin against Burkholderia cepacia in a model of chronic lung infection. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were inoculated intratracheally with 106 CFU of a very resistant strain of B. cepacia (strain BC 1368; MIC, 128 μg/ml) to establish lung infection. A 1,200-μg dose of tobramycin was administered intratracheally as a liposomal formulation and as a conventional formulation. Rats were anesthetized and exsanguinated by cardiac puncture at different times over 24 h to assess pulmonary tobramycin concentrations and the number of residual CFU. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated by using a two-compartment model with NONMEM. The mean half-life at the β phase (t1/2β) and the pulmonary exposure (the area under the concentration-time curve [AUC]) of liposomal tobramycin were 19.7 h (coefficient of variation [CV], 24.2%) and 6,811 μg · h/lungs (CV, 19.7%), respectively. The pharmacokinetics of conventional tobramycin were statistically different, with a t1/2β and AUC of 12.9 h (CV, 31.4%) and 821 μg · h/lungs (CV, 15.0%), respectively. Pearson chi-square analyses were performed on residual CFU data distributed in the following categories: <103, 103 to 105, and >105. Differences in CFU data between formulations showed a statistical trend (P < 0.10) when data from all time points were used, and statistically significant differences were found after 12 h (P < 0.05), with greater eradication achieved with the liposomal formulation. In conclusion, intratracheal administration of tobramycin in liposomes was associated with marked changes in the pharmacokinetics of the drug in the lung and an apparent trend for a prolonged efficacy against B. cepacia. These results support the hypothesis that inhalation of liposomal tobramycin may improve the management of chronic pulmonary infections caused by resistant bacteria in patients with cystic fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC132795  PMID: 12435676
9.  Role of sodium in protection by extended-spectrum penicillins against tobramycin-induced nephrotoxicity. 
Salt depletion is known to potentiate aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity, while salt replacement attenuates it. Recent studies have shown that ticarcillin protects against tobramycin and gentamicin nephrotoxicity. It has been suggested that this protection is due to an interaction between ticarcillin and the aminoglycoside. However, it can also be explained by the salt load associated with ticarcillin administration. This study was conducted to examine this question. Tobramycin was administered to eight groups of rats at 100 mg/kg per day intraperitoneally for 10 days. Group 1 rats were salt depleted, while group 2 rats were on a normal salt diet. Rats in groups 3 through 8 were also salt depleted but received, in addition, the following interventions intraperitoneally: group 3, ticarcillin, 300 mg/kg per day (0.37 to 0.39 meq of Na supplement per day); group 4, ticarcillin, 300 mg per day (1.56 meq of Na supplement per day); group 5, ticarcillin, 300 mg/kg per day, and NaCl supplement (1.17 to 1.19 meq/day), resulting in a total load of 1.56 meq/day; group 6, piperacillin, 400 mg/day (0.76 meq of Na supplement per day and equimolar to the ticarcillin dose [300 mg/day] in group 4 rats); group 7, piperacillin, 400 mg/day, and NaCl supplement (0.8 meq/day) for a total Na load of 1.56 meq/day; and group 8, 1.56 meq of Na per day as NaCl. Rats in groups 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8, which received a normal salt diet or its equivalent Na supplement, had no significant change in creatinine clearance (CLCR) over the 10-day period. The remaining groups sustained significant reductions in CLCR, as follows: group 1, -53.0% (P < 0.05); group 3, -66.2% (P < 0.05); group 6, -79.8% (P < 0.05). A positive correlation was found between the concentration of tobramycin in the kidneys and the percent change in CLCR at the end of the study. Concentrations of drugs in plasma were highest in group 1 rats, lowest in the rats in groups in which protection was observed, and moderately elevated in the remaining groups of rats. The results of this study suggest the following: (i) that the protective effect of ticarcillin against tobramycin nephrotoxicity is secondary to the obligatory sodium load associated with it, (ii) pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions between salt and tobramycin are proposed to explain this effect, (iii) the nephrotoxicity of tobramycin is probably related to the degree of accumulation of the drug in the kidney, and (iv) an in vivo interaction between tobramycin and ticarcillin does not contribute to the protective effect of the penicillin but may influence concentrations in plasma, especially under conditions of severe renal impairment.
PMCID: PMC171750  PMID: 2393261
10.  Attenuation of experimental tobramycin nephrotoxicity by ticarcillin. 
It is well known that in vitro the combination of carbenicillin, ticarcillin, or other antipseudomonal penicillins with gentamicin, tobramycin, or other aminoglycoside antibiotics results in the inactivation of the antibacterial activity of the aminoglycoside. To assess the influence of the in vivo interaction of tobramycin and ticarcillin on experimental nephrotoxicity, male Fischer 344 rats were given either tobramycin alone (120 mg/kg per day), tobramycin (120 mg/kg per day) and ticarcillin (250 mg/kg per day) concomitantly, or the combination of these drugs at the same doses that had been preincubated for 24 h and at the time of delivery contained but 63 and 25%, respectively, of the initial concentrations of tobramycin and ticarcillin as measured by conventional analytical procedures. Initial experiments were conducted to determine the concentrations of the antibiotics in serum achieved after administration of each test solution. After a single dose of the test solution, ticarcillin concentrations in serum were higher and more prolonged in rats given tobramycin plus ticarcillin than in rats given ticarcillin alone. After 7 days of exposure to the test solutions, inulin clearance in animals given tobramycin alone was 0.15 +/- 0.1 (mean +/- 2 standard errors) ml/min per 100 g of body weight as compared with 0.53 +/- 0.1 in rats given tobramycin and ticarcillin concomitantly, 0.59 +/- 0.1 in animals given the partially inactivated tobramycin-ticarcillin mixture, and 0.79 +/- 0.1 in control rats. Although there was some improvement in inulin clearance in the group containing tobramycin alone, the three treatment groups maintained the same rank relationship in inulin clearance through 14 days of treatment. Real histology confirmed the attenuation of tubular injury in animals given tobramycin and ticarcillin concomitantly. There was no evidence of toxicity from the presumed inactivation complexes of tobramycin-ticarcillin. These results document an in vivo protective effect of ticarcillin on experimental tobramycin nephrotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC180182  PMID: 4026263
11.  Clinical and Antiviral Efficacy of an Ophthalmic Formulation of Dexamethasone Povidone-Iodine in a Rabbit Model of Adenoviral Keratoconjunctivitis 
In a rabbit model of adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis, the combination of topical dexamethasone 0.1%/povidone-iodine 0.4% (FST-100) had clinical and antiviral efficacy. FST-100 had no ocular toxicity.
To determine the efficacy of a new formulation of topical dexamethasone 0.1%/povidone-iodine 0.4% (FST-100) in reducing clinical symptoms and infectious viral titers in a rabbit model of adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis.
Rabbit corneas were inoculated bilaterally with 2 × 106 plaque-forming-units (PFU) of adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) after corneal scarification. Animals were randomized 1:1:1:1 (five rabbits per group) to FST-100, 0.5% cidofovir, tobramycin/dexamethasone (Tobradex; Alcon Laboratories, Fort Worth, TX) ophthalmic suspension, and balanced salt solution (BSS; Alcon Laboratories). Treatment began 12 hours after viral inoculation and continued for 7 consecutive days. The eyes were clinically scored daily for scleral inflammation (injection), ocular neovascularization, eyelid inflammation (redness), friability of vasculature, inflammatory discharge (pus), and epiphora (excessive tearing). Eye swabs were collected daily before treatment for the duration of the study. Virus was eluted from the swabs and PFU determined by titration on human A549 cells, according to standard procedures.
The FST-100 treatment resulted in significantly lower clinical scores (P < 0.05) than did the other treatments. The 0.5% cidofovir exhibited the most ocular toxicity compared with FST-100, tobramycin/dexamethasone, and balanced salt solution treatments. FST-100 and 0.5% cidofovir significantly (P < 0.05) reduced viral titers compared with tobramycin/dexamethasone or balanced salt solution.
FST-100 was the most efficacious in minimizing the clinical symptoms of adenovirus infection in rabbit eyes. FST-100 and 0.5% cidofovir were both equally effective in reducing viral titers and decreasing the duration of viral shedding. By providing symptomatic relief in addition to reducing infectious virus titers, FST-100 should be a valuable addition to treatment of epidemic adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis.
PMCID: PMC3053283  PMID: 20702820
12.  Iontophoretic application of tobramycin to uninfected and Pseudomonas aeruginosa-infected rabbit corneas. 
Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis was induced in rabbits to study the effects of corneal infection on the delivery of tobramycin by iontophoresis. Some rabbits were treated by use of an eye cup with no current as a control for iontophoresis, and others were treated with fortified drops (1.36%) delivered topically for comparison with results of earlier studies. One hour after treatment with tobramycin, the concentration of drug in the infected corneas was compared with that achieved in mock-infected and uninfected eyes. Iontophoresis of 25 mg of tobramycin per ml at 0.8 mA for 10 min delivered significantly more drug (P = 0.0001) to corneal tissue than did drops or use of an eye cup without current in P. aeruginosa-infected eyes mock-infected eyes, or uninfected eyes. Tobramycin concentrations in the infected corneas (605.9 micrograms/g) were not significantly different (P = 0.815) from the concentrations in mock-infected eyes (641.4 micrograms/g), but were lower (P = 0.007) than those obtained by iontophoresis in uninfected corneas (853.6 micrograms/g). Use of an eye cup without current delivered tobramycin equally to infected, mock-infected, and normal eyes, i.e., 176.5, 171.0, and 163.1 micrograms/g, respectively (P greater than 0.709). Tobramycin delivered by use of fortified drops delivered topically was detectable in mock-infected corneas (20 micrograms/g) and P. aeruginosa-infected corneas (6.0 micrograms/g). These results suggest that iontophoresis has value as an ocular drug delivery system and that an eye cup could also be useful in a therapeutic regimen for ocular infections.
PMCID: PMC172328  PMID: 3142344
13.  Tobramycin inactivation by carbenicillin, ticarcillin, and piperacillin. 
The in vitro and in vivo inactivation of tobramycin by carbenicillin, ticarcillin, or piperacillin was investigated by the enzyme immunoassay method in clinically employed dosages. After the addition of an 80-mg dose of tobramycin to 4- to 5-g doses of a penicillin in 100 ml of 0.9% saline or distilled water, the degradation profile of tobramycin appeared to follow a biexponential pattern of decay. Remarkable losses (30 to 40%) of tobramycin combined with carbenicillin or ticarcillin were observed within 1 h, as compared with the later decline. The combination of tobramycin with piperacillin was least inactivating. When the admixture of tobramycin with carbenicillin or piperacillin used in the in vitro study was infused to six volunteers over 1 h, the observed maximum concentrations of tobramycin were on the average 66 and 74% for carbenicillin and piperacillin, respectively, of that observed after tobramycin alone was given. In contrast, the value obtained for tobramycin in combination with piperacillin was close to 90% of the control value. The elimination half-lives of tobramycin combined with the penicillins were slightly shorter than those of tobramycin alone, indicating that the interaction occurs even in patients with normal renal function.
PMCID: PMC184782  PMID: 6223576
14.  Efficacy of the Combination of Tobramycin and a Macrolide in an In Vitro Pseudomonas aeruginosa Mature Biofilm Model▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(10):4409-4415.
Respiratory disease is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). In particular, patients suffer from chronic infection due to biofilm formation by opportunistic Pseudomonas aeruginosa (32). Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop alternative ways to treat biofilm-associated clinical infections. The aim of this study was to compare the antimicrobial effects in vitro of the combinations tobramycin-clarithromycin and tobramycin-azithromycin against five P. aeruginosa biofilms and to establish the most effective combination. We performed a kinetic study over a period of 28 days of a twice-daily coadministration of the combinations tobramycin-clarithromycin and tobramycin-azithromycin on 12-day-old, mature P. aeruginosa biofilms formed on microplate pegs for 4 clinical isolates and one laboratory strain (PAO1) to simulate the treatment of CF patients with tobramycin inhalation solution (TOBI) through aerosolization. A synergy between tobramycin and clarithromycin was recorded for 3/5 biofilms, with a bacterial decrease of more than 5 log. Conversely, we found an antagonistic activity when 4 μg/ml tobramycin was administered with azithromycin at 2 μg/ml for P. aeruginosa PAO1 and with azithromycin at 2, 20, 50, 100, and 200 μg/ml for P. aeruginosa PYO1. Treatment with tobramycin at 4 μg/ml combined with clarithromycin at 200 μg/ml eradicated all five biofilms, while tobramycin-azithromycin at the same concentrations eradicated only three biofilms. Results of this study suggest that local administration of tobramycin and clarithromycin into the respiratory tract represents a better strategy than the combination tobramycin-azithromycin for the treatment of P. aeruginosa-associated pulmonary infections.
PMCID: PMC2944582  PMID: 20696878
15.  Hydroxylamine technique for in vitro prevention of penicillin inactivation of tobramycin. 
Hydroxylamine was evaluated and found to be a highly effective agent for the in vitro prevention of penicillin inactivation of tobramycin. This inactivation reaction resulted in an underestimation of tobramycin concentrations and was dependent on time, temperature, amount and type of penicillin, and amount of tobramycin. Plasma samples containing tobramycin and three clinically relevant concentrations of ticarcillin, carbenicillin, azlocillin, or piperacillin were incubated with and without hydroxylamine, and tobramycin concentrations were monitored at 0, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h. The inactivation reaction was found to be completely inhibited by hydroxylamine (1 mg/ml) compared with a 27 to 50% loss of measured tobramycin concentration in the unprotected tobramycin-penicillin samples. Hydroxylamine did not interfere with the Emit enzyme immunoassay (Syva Co.) at either high or low tobramycin concentrations. Hydroxylamine was effective in inhibiting the tobramycin inactivation at both room and refrigerator temperatures and was 100% effective in protecting tobramycin on a 1:1 molar basis.
PMCID: PMC179985  PMID: 6393865
16.  Amplification of Aminoglycoside Resistance Gene aphA1 in Acinetobacter baumannii Results in Tobramycin Therapy Failure 
mBio  2014;5(2):e00915-14.
Gene amplification is believed to play an important role in antibiotic resistance but has been rarely documented in clinical settings because of its unstable nature. We report a rise in MICs from 0.5 to 16 μg/ml in successive Acinetobacter baumannii isolated over 4 days from a patient being treated with tobramycin for an infection by multidrug-resistant A. baumannii, resulting in therapeutic failure. Isolates were characterized by whole-genome sequencing, real-time and reverse transcriptase PCR, and growth assays to determine the mechanism of tobramycin resistance and its fitness cost. Tobramycin resistance was associated with two amplification events of different chromosomal fragments containing the aphA1 aminoglycoside resistance gene part of transposon Tn6020. The first amplification event involved low amplification (6 to 10 copies) of a large DNA fragment that was unstable and conferred tobramycin MICs of ≤8 μg/ml. The second event involved moderate (10 to 30 copies) or high (40 to 110 copies) amplification of Tn6020. High copy numbers were associated with tobramycin MICs of 16 μg/ml, impaired fitness, and genetic instability, whereas lower copy numbers resulted in tobramycin MICs of ≤8 μg/ml and no fitness cost and were stably maintained in vitro. Exposure in vitro to tobramycin of the initial susceptible isolate and of the A. baumannii AB0057 reference strain led to similar aphA1 amplifications and elevated tobramycin MICs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of in vivo development of antibiotic resistance secondary to gene amplifications resulting in therapy failure.
A combination of whole-genome sequencing and mapping were used to detect an antibiotic resistance mechanism, gene amplification, which has been presumed for a long time to be of major importance but has rarely been reported in clinical settings because of its unstable nature. Two gene amplification events in a patient with an Acinetobacter baumannii infection treated with tobramycin were identified. One gene amplification event led to high levels of resistance and was rapidly reversible, while the second event led to low and more stable resistance since it incurred low fitness cost on the host. Gene amplification, with an associated rise in tobramycin MICs, could be readily reproduced in vitro from initially susceptible strains exposed to increasing concentrations of tobramycin, suggesting that gene amplification in A. baumannii may be a more common mechanism than currently believed. This report underscores the importance of rapid molecular techniques for surveillance of drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC3994513  PMID: 24757213
17.  Use of Pharmacodynamic Parameters To Predict Efficacy of Combination Therapy by Using Fractional Inhibitory Concentration Kinetics 
Combination therapy with antimicrobial agents can be used against bacteria that have reduced susceptibilities to single agents. We studied various tobramycin and ceftazidime dosing regimens against four resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains in an in vitro pharmacokinetic model to determine the usability of combination therapy for the treatment of infections due to resistant bacterial strains. For the selection of an optimal dosing regimen it is necessary to determine which pharmacodynamic parameter best predicts efficacy during combination therapy and to find a simple method for susceptibility testing. An easy-to-use, previously described E-test method was evaluated as a test for susceptibility to combination therapy. That test resulted in a MICcombi, which is the MIC of, for example, tobramycin in the presence of ceftazidime. By dividing the tobramycin and ceftazidime concentration by the MICcombi at each time point during the dosing interval, fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) curves were constructed, and from these curves new pharmacodynamic parameters for combination therapy were calculated (i.e., AUCcombi, Cmax-combi, T>MIC-combi, and T>FICi, where AUCcombi, Cmax-combi, T>MIC-combi, and T>FICi are the area under the FICcombi curve, the peak concentration of FICcombi, the time that the concentration of the combination is above the MICcombi, and the time above the FIC index, respectively). By stepwise multilinear regression analysis, the pharmacodynamic parameter T>FICi proved to be the best predictor of therapeutic efficacy during combination therapy with tobramycin and ceftazidime (R2 = 0.6821; P < 0.01). We conclude that for combination therapy with tobramycin and ceftazidime the T>FICi is the parameter best predictive of efficacy and that the E-test for susceptibility testing of combination therapy gives promising results. These new pharmacodynamic parameters for combination therapy promise to provide better insight into the rationale behind combination therapy.
PMCID: PMC105535  PMID: 9559776
18.  Ultrasound-Enhanced Delivery of Antibiotics and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs into the Eye 
Ultrasound in medicine & biology  2013;39(4):638-646.
Delivery of sufficient amounts of therapeutic drugs into the eye is often a challenging task. In this study, ultrasound application (frequencies of 400 KHz to 1 MHz, intensities of 0.3–1.0 W/cm2 and exposure duration of 5 min) was investigated to overcome the barrier properties of cornea, which is a typical route for topical administration of ophthalmic drugs. Permeability of ophthalmic drugs, tobramycin and dexamethasone and sodium fluorescein, a drug-mimicking compound, was studied in ultrasound- and sham-treated rabbit corneas in vitro using a standard diffusion cell setup. Light microscopy observations were used to determine ultrasound-induced structural changes in the cornea. For tobramycin, an increase in permeability for ultrasound- and sham-treated corneas was not statistically significant. Increase of 46%–126% and 32%–109% in corneal permeability was observed for sodium fluorescein and dexamethasone, respectively, with statistical significance (p < 0.05) achieved at all treatment parameter combinations (compared with sham treatments) except for 1-MHz ultrasound applications for dexamethasone experiments. This permeability increase was highest at 400 kHz and appeared to be higher at higher intensities applied. Histologic analysis showed structural changes that were limited to epithelial layers of cornea. In summary, ultrasound application provided enhancement of drug delivery, increasing the permeability of the cornea for the anti-inflammatory ocular drug dexamethasone. Future investigations are needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of this application in in vivo long-term survival studies. (E-mail:
PMCID: PMC3770302  PMID: 23415283
Therapeutic ultrasound; In vitro; Drug delivery; Cornea; Ocular diseases; Sonophoresis
19.  M Cell–Targeted Ocular Immunization: Effect on Immunoglobulins in Tears, Feces, and Serum 
Conjunctival M cells are shown to bind and retro-translocate secretory IgA from the tear film. Natural IgA antibodies in tears promote uptake of topically applied immunogens and lead to immunoglobulin production at local and distant mucosae and in blood.
This study investigates whether antigen-sampling M cells, present in the follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) above organized conjunctiva-associated lymphoid tissue in rabbits, bind and retro-transport secretory IgA (sIgA) from the tear film. The hypothesis that IgA-mediated uptake of antigens promotes local and systemic production of immunoglobulins was tested.
sIgA binding and retro-translocation by M cells was characterized by immunocytochemistry. Immunoglobulin concentrations in tears, feces and serum were measured using enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISA) after topical and systemic immunization with either goat IgG anti-rabbit IgA or nonspecific goat IgG.
Endogenous sIgA was found associated with the apical membrane of conjunctival M cells. Exogenous anti-IgA immunoglobulins were translocated across M cells. Significant levels of sIgA against goat IgG were present in tears of pre-immune animals. Topical application of either goat IgG specific for rabbit IgA or nonspecific goat IgG led to similar increases in antigen-specific IgA in tear, feces, and serum. The antigen-specific IgG response in tears mirrored the serum response for both immunogens consistent with transudation of this immunoglobulin. The IgM response in tears and serum was weak for both immunogens. Systemic immunization did not sustain or enhance the local mucosal IgA responses.
Conjunctival M cells bind and translocate sIgA from the tear film. Topical conjunctival immunization leads to generation of antigen-specific immunoglobulins from both local and distant mucosae and in serum. Natural antibodies, present in the tear film before immunization, may have contributed to similar immune responses to goat anti-rabbit IgA and nonspecific goat IgG.
PMCID: PMC2868436  PMID: 19892871
20.  High-pressure liquid chromatography analysis and single-dose disposition of tobramycin in human volunteers. 
A sensitive and specific fluorometric high-pressure liquid chromatography technique was developed to measure both tobramycin and an internal standard (gentamicin C2). The assay utilizes direct extraction of the o-phthalaldehyde derivatives from serum and urine. Coefficients of variation were 7.9% (serum) and 6.0% (urine) at a tobramycin concentration of 1.0 microgram/ml. The lower limit of assay sensitivity was 0.2 microgram/ml. Results obtained from high-pressure liquid chromatography were in excellent agreement with those from radioimmunoassay for both serum (r = 0.97) and urine (r = 0.91). No other aminoglycoside antibiotics and no other antibiotics that were tested caused interfering peaks. Tobramycin (1 mg/kg intravenous bolus) was administered to three healthy volunteers. Tobramycin concentrations were detectable for 10 h in serum and for 240 h in urine after a 1-mg/kg intravenous dose. A two-compartment pharmacokinetic model was required to describe the tobramycin disposition. Urinary recovery of tobramycin over a 10-day period accounted for 95.8, 94.3, and 83.1% of the administered dose. High-pressure liquid chromatography methodology is sufficiently sensitive to determine single-dose, two-compartment tobramycin pharmacokinetics from urinary excretion data, thus verifying the prolonged excretion of tobramycin after a single dose. The analytical methodology and pharmacokinetic techniques described may be useful in studying other aminoglycosides.
PMCID: PMC283846  PMID: 7396455
21.  Tobramycin at subinhibitory concentration inhibits the RhlI/R quorum sensing system in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa environmental isolate 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:148.
Antibiotics are not only small molecules with therapeutic activity in killing or inhibiting microbial growth, but can also act as signaling molecules affecting gene expression in bacterial communities. A few studies have demonstrated the effect of tobramycin as a signal molecule on gene expression at the transcriptional level and its effect on bacterial physiology and virulence. These have shown that subinhibitory concentrations (SICs) of tobramycin induce biofilm formation and enhance the capabilities of P. aeruginosa to colonize specific environments.
Environmental P. aeruginosa strain PUPa3 was grown in the presence of different concentrations of tobramycin and it was determined at which highest concentration SIC, growth, total protein levels and translation efficiency were not affected. At SIC it was then established if phenotypes related to cell-cell signaling known as quorum sensing were altered.
In this study it was determined whether tobramycin sensing/response at SICs was affecting the two independent AHL QS systems in an environmental P. aeruginosa strain. It is reasonable to assume that P. aeruginosa encounters tobramycin in nature since it is produced by niche mate Streptomyces tenebrarius. It was established that SICs of tobramycin inhibited the RhlI/R system by reducing levels of C4-HSL production. This effect was not due to a decrease of rhlI transcription and required tobramycin-ribosome interaction.
Tobramycin signaling in P. aeruginosa occurs and different strains can have a different response. Understanding the tobramycin response by an environmental P. aeruginosa will highlight possible inter-species signalling taking place in nature and can possible also have important implications in the mode of utilization for human use of this very important antibiotic.
PMCID: PMC2898818  PMID: 20525206
22.  Synergism between tobramycin and ceftazidime against a resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain, tested in an in vitro pharmacokinetic model. 
Synergism between two antibiotics is usually tested by a checkerboard titration technique, or by time-kill methods. Both methods have the disadvantage that synergism is determined at constant concentrations of the antibiotics, which do not reflect reality in vivo. In the present study we determined whether synergism between tobramycin and ceftazidime can be found at declining concentrations below the MIC, and whether change in dosing sequence of the antibiotics would result in differences in killing. Three monotherapy and six combination therapy schedules were tested in an in vitro pharmacokinetic model, using a Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistant to both antibiotics. During all q8h dosing schedules the peak concentration (Cmax) was adjusted to the MIC for the strain of both antibiotics. During all monotherapy regimens bacterial growth was present, while all six combination therapy schedules showed significant killing. At t = 24 h there were no differences between all combination therapy schedules, but at t = 8 h the two combination therapy schedules with administration of tobramycin once daily showed a significantly faster killing. By using the area under the killing curve (AUKC) as a parameter for synergistic killing, simultaneous combination therapy starting with tobramycin once daily was significantly better than all other regimens. We conclude that there is synergism between tobramycin and ceftazidime at declining antibiotic concentrations below the MIC, resulting in a pronounced killing of a resistant Pseudomonas strain. Infections due to resistant Pseudomonas strains could possibly be treated by a synergistic combination of these drugs.
PMCID: PMC163667  PMID: 8980762
23.  Eradication of mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa with fluid liposome-encapsulated tobramycin in an animal model of chronic pulmonary infection. 
Despite controversies associated with forms and value of antibiotic therapy for cystic fibrosis patients, antibiotherapy remains a cornerstone in the management of those patients. Locally administered liposome-encapsulated antibiotics may offer advantages over free antibiotics, including sustained concentration of the antibiotic, minimal systemic absorption, reduced toxicity, and increased efficacy. We evaluated the efficacy of free and encapsulated tobramycin in fluid and rigid liposomal formulations administered to rats chronically infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Chronic infection in lungs was established by intratracheal administration of 10(5) CFU of a mucoid variant of P. aeruginosa PA 508 prepared in agar beads. Antibiotic treatments were given intratracheally at time intervals of 16 h. After the last treatment, lung bacterial counts were determined and tobramycin levels in the lungs and kidneys were evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis and microbiological assay. Two independent experiments showed that animals treated with encapsulated tobramycin in fluid liposomes had a number of CFU less than the minimal CFU number required to be statistically acceptable compared with > or = 10(6) CFU per pair of lungs for animals treated with encapsulated tobramycin in rigid liposomes, free antibiotic, or liposomes without tobramycin. Tobramycin measured in the lungs at 16 h after the last treatment following the administration of encapsulated antibiotic was still active, and its concentration was > or = 27 micrograms/mg of tissue. Low levels of tobramycin were detected in the kidneys (0.59 to 0.87 micrograms/mg of tissue) after the administration of encapsulated antibiotic, while 5.31 micrograms/mg of tissue was detected in the kidneys following the administration of free antibiotic. These results suggest that the local administration of fluid liposomes with encapsulated tobramycin could greatly improve the management of chronic pulmonary infection in cystic fibrosis patients.
PMCID: PMC163177  PMID: 8851590
24.  Topical administration of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist as a therapy for aqueous-deficient dry eye in autoimmune disease 
Molecular Vision  2013;19:1957-1965.
Dry eye is commonly associated with autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome (SS), in which exocrinopathy of the lacrimal gland leads to aqueous tear deficiency and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). KCS is among the most common and debilitating clinical manifestations of SS that is often recalcitrant to therapy. We established mice deficient in the autoimmune regulator (Aire) gene as a model for autoimmune-mediated aqueous-deficient dry eye. In Aire-deficient mice, CD4+ T cells represent the main effector cells and local signaling via the interleukin-1 (IL-1/IL-1R1) pathway provides an essential link between autoreactive CD4+ T cells and ocular surface disease. In the current study, we evaluated the efficacy of topical administration of IL-1R1 antagonist (IL-1RA) anakinra in alleviating ocular surface damage resulting from aqueous-deficient dry eye in the setting of autoimmune disease.
We compared the effect of commercially available IL-1R1 antagonist, anakinra (50 μg/mL concentration) to that of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) vehicle control as a treatment for dry eye. Age-matched, Aire-deficient mice were treated three times daily with anakinra or CMC vehicle for 14 days using side-by-side (n=4 mice/group) and paired-eye (n=5) comparisons. We assessed (1) ocular surface damage with lissamine green staining; (2) tear secretion with wetting of phenol-red threads; (3) goblet cell (GC) mucin glycosylation with lectin histochemistry; (4) immune cell infiltration using anti-F4/80, CD11c, and CD4 T cell antibodies; and (5) gene expression of cornified envelope protein, Small Proline-Rich Protein-1B (SPRR1B) with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
Aire-deficient mice treated with anakinra experienced significant improvements in ocular surface integrity and tear secretion. After 7 days of treatment, lissamine green staining decreased in eyes treated with anakinra compared to an equivalent increase in staining following treatment with CMC vehicle alone. By day 14, lissamine green staining in anakinra-treated eyes remained stable while eyes treated with CMC vehicle continued to worsen. Accordingly, there was a progressive decline in tear secretion in eyes treated with the CMC vehicle compared to a progressive increase in the anakinra-treated eyes over the 2-week treatment period. Aberrant acidification of GC mucins and pathological keratinization of the ocular surface were significantly reduced in anakinra-treated eyes. Significantly fewer Maackia amurensis leukoagglutinin positive goblet cells were noted in the conjunctiva of anakinra-treated eyes with a corresponding decrease in the expression of the pathological keratinization marker, SPRR1B. Finally, there was a downward trend in the infiltration of each immune cell type following anakinra treatment, but the cell counts compared to eyes treated with the vehicle alone were not significantly different.
IL-1R antagonist, anakinra, demonstrates therapeutic benefits as a topical treatment for aqueous-deficient dry eye in a spontaneous mouse model of autoimmune KCS that mimics the clinical characteristics of SS. Targeting the IL-1/IL-1R1 signaling pathway through topical administration of IL-1RA may provide a novel option to improve ocular surface integrity, increase tear secretion, and restore the normal glycosylation pattern of GC mucins in patients with SS.
PMCID: PMC3782366  PMID: 24068863
25.  Comparative pharmacokinetics of aminoglycoside antibiotics in guinea pigs. 
The pharmacokinetics of netilmicin, gentamicin, and tobramycin in plasma and in perilymph of guinea pigs were studied after a single intravenous injection of 40 mg/kg. Detailed pharmacokinetic analysis of the plasma drug concentration-time data up to 36 h after the intravenous dose revealed that the pharmacokinetics of the aminoglycoside antibiotics can be best described as a three-compartment open model. The disposition half-lives (t1/2) in plasma of the three antibiotics were comparable and within the following ranges: t1/2 alpha of 0.09 to 0.16 h; t1/2 beta of 0.88 to 1.01 h; and t1/2 gamma of 7.87 to 8.29 h. The volume of distribution in the central compartment and the total body clearance of netilmicin (294 ml/kg, 5.74 ml/min per kg) were greater than those of gentamicin (160 ml/kg, 3.40 ml/min per kg) and tobramycin (204 ml/kg, 4.63 ml/min per kg). Pharmacokinetic analysis of the perilymph drug concentration-time data indicated that all three antibiotics penetrated the perilymph readily, but netilmicin cleared from the perilymph compartment faster than gentamicin and tobramycin. The maximum perilymph drug concentrations were 4.17, 8.05, and 6.78 micrograms/ml and occurred at 1, 2, and 4 h for netilmicin, gentamicin, and tobramycin, respectively. The ratio of area under the curve of perilymph to plasma was lowest for netilmicin (0.27), followed by gentamicin (0.39) and tobramycin (0.57). These results suggest that the differences in pharmacokinetics and concentrations of netilmicin in the perilymph may account for less ototoxic liability of netilmicin compared with gentamicin and tobramycin.
PMCID: PMC185713  PMID: 7159067

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