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1.  Assessment of Clofazimine Activity in a Second-Line Regimen for Tuberculosis in Mice 
Rationale: Although observational studies suggest that clofazimine-containing regimens are highly active against drug-resistant tuberculosis, the contribution of clofazimine for the treatment of this disease has never been systematically evaluated.
Objectives: Our goal was to directly compare the activity of a standard second-line drug regimen with or without the addition of clofazimine in a mouse model of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Our comparative outcomes included time to culture conversion in the mouse lungs and the percentage of relapses after treatment cessation.
Methods: Mice were aerosol-infected with an isoniazid-resistant (as a surrogate of multidrug-resistant) strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Treatment, which was administered for 5 to 9 months, was initiated 2 weeks after infection and comprised the following second-line regimen: daily (5 d/wk) moxifloxacin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide, supplemented with amikacin during the first 2 months. One-half of the mice also received daily clofazimine. The decline in lung bacterial load was assessed monthly using charcoal-containing agar to reduce clofazimine carryover. Relapse was assessed 6 months after treatment cessation.
Measurements and Main Results: After 2 months, the bacillary load in lungs was reduced from 9.74 log10 at baseline to 3.61 and 4.68 in mice treated with or without clofazimine, respectively (P < 0.001). Mice treated with clofazimine were culture-negative after 5 months, whereas all mice treated without clofazimine remained heavily culture-positive for the entire 9 months of the study. The relapse rate was 7% among mice treated with clofazimine for 8 to 9 months.
Conclusions: The clofazimine contribution was substantial in these experimental conditions.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201304-0753OC
PMCID: PMC3827279  PMID: 23822735
tuberculosis; multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; clofazimine; inbred BALB/c mice
2.  Contribution of Moxifloxacin or Levofloxacin in Second-Line Regimens with or without Continuation of Pyrazinamide in Murine Tuberculosis 
Rationale: High-dose levofloxacin (L) (1,000 mg) was as active as moxifloxacin (M) (400 mg) in an early bactericidal activity trial, suggesting these fluoroquinolones could be used interchangeably. Whether pyrazinamide (Z) contributes sterilizing activity beyond the first 2 months in fluoroquinolone-containing second-line regimens remains unknown.
Objectives: We compared the efficacy of M and high-dose L alone or in combination with ethionamide (Et), amikacin (A), and Z given for 2 or 7 months.
Methods: A pharmacokinetic study was performed to determine the L dose equivalent to 1,000 mg in humans. Treatment started 2 weeks after aerosol infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Mice received M or L alone or in combination with 2 months of EtZA followed by 5 months of Et or EtZ.
Measurements and Main Results: After 2 months of treatment, lung colony-forming unit (CFU) counts were similar in mice receiving either fluoroquinolone alone, but, after 4 and 5 months, CFU counts were 2 log10 lower in mice receiving M. Mice receiving 2MEtZA/3MEt and 2LEtZA/3LEt had 1.0 and 2.7 log10 lung CFUs, respectively. When Z was given throughout, both regimens rendered mice culture negative by 5 months, and most mice did not relapse after 7 months of treatment, with fewer relapses observed in the M group after 6 and 7 months of treatment.
Conclusions: In murine tuberculosis, M had superior efficacy compared with L despite lower serum drug exposures and may remain the fluoroquinolone of choice for second-line regimens. Z contributed substantial sterilizing activity beyond 2 months in fluoroquinolone-containing second-line regimens, largely compensating for L’s weaker activity.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201212-2328OC
PMCID: PMC3735243  PMID: 23593945
moxifloxacin; levofloxacin; MDR-TB; pharmacokinetics; mouse model
3.  Treatment of Tuberculosis with Rifamycin-containing Regimens in Immune-deficient Mice 
Rationale: Daily rifapentine plus isoniazid-pyrazinamide in mice infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis produces cure in 3 months. Whether cure corresponds to latent infection contained by host immunity or true tissue sterilization is unknown.
Objectives: To determine the length of treatment with rifapentine-isoniazid-pyrazinamide or rifampin-isoniazid-pyrazinamide needed to prevent relapse in immune-deficient mice.
Methods: Aerosol-infected BALB/c and nude mice were treated 5 days per week with either 2 months of the rifapentine-based regimen followed by rifapentine-isoniazid up to 12 months or the same regimen with rifampin instead of rifapentine. Cultures of lung homogenates were performed during the first 3 months and then every 3 months. Relapse rates were assessed after 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of treatment in BALB/c (± 1 mo of cortisone) and nude mice.
Measurements and Main Results: All rifapentine-treated mice were lung culture–negative at 3 months but 13% of BALB/c that received cortisone and 73% of nude mice relapsed. After 6, 9, and 12 months of treatment no mouse relapsed. Rifampin-treated BALB/c mice remained culture positive at 3 months. All were culture negative at 6, 9, and 12 months. None, including those receiving cortisone, relapsed. Rifampin-treated nude mice harbored more than 4 log10 lung cfu at Month 2 and approximately 6 log10 cfu with isoniazid resistance at Month 3. A supplementary experiment demonstrated that 7 days a week treatment did not prevent isoniazid resistance, whereas addition of ethambutol did.
Conclusions: In nude mice, sterilization of tuberculosis is obtained with rifapentine-containing treatment, whereas failure with development of isoniazid resistance is obtained with rifampin-containing treatment.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201012-1949OC
PMCID: PMC3114054  PMID: 21330452
tuberculosis; immune-deficient mice; rifapentine; rifampin; drug resistance
4.  Potent Twice-Weekly Rifapentine-containing Regimens in Murine Tuberculosis 
Rationale: Recent studies have demonstrated that intermittent administration of rifamycin-based regimens results in higher rates of tuberculosis relapse and treatment failure compared with daily therapy. Twice-weekly treatment with rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide may be improved by increasing Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure to rifamycin by substituting rifapentine for rifampin.
Methods: To test this hypothesis, we compared the activities of standard daily and twice-weekly rifampin plus isoniazid-based regimens to those of twice-weekly rifapentine plus isoniazid- or moxifloxacin-containing regimens in the murine model of tuberculosis. Relapse rates were assessed after 4, 5, and 6 mo of treatment to assess stable cure. Single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of rifampin and rifapentine were also determined.
Results: After 2 mo of treatment, twice-weekly therapy with rifapentine (15 or 20 mg/kg), moxifloxacin, and pyrazinamide was significantly more active than standard daily or twice-weekly therapy with rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide. Stable cure was achieved after 4 mo of twice-weekly rifapentine plus isoniazid- or moxifloxacin-containing therapy, but only after 6 mo of standard daily therapy. Twice-weekly rifapentine (15 mg/kg) displayed more favorable pharmacodynamics than did daily rifampin (10 mg/kg).
Conclusions: By virtue of the enhanced rifamycin exposure, twice-weekly regimens containing rifapentine (15 or 20 mg/kg) may permit shortening the current treatment duration by 2 mo. Such regimens warrant clinical investigation.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200602-280OC
PMCID: PMC1862756  PMID: 16574936
moxifloxacin; rifampin; rifapentine; tuberculosis; treatment
5.  Potent Twice-Weekly Rifapentine-containing Regimens in Murine Tuberculosis 
Rationale
Recent studies have demonstrated that intermittent administration of rifamycin-based regimens results in higher rates of tuberculosis relapse and treatment failure compared with daily therapy. Twice-weekly treatment with rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide may be improved by increasing Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure to rifamycin by substituting rifapentine for rifampin.
Methods
To test this hypothesis, we compared the activities of standard daily and twice-weekly rifampin plus isoniazid-based regimens to those of twice-weekly rifapentine plus isoniazid- or moxifloxacin-containing regimens in the murine model of tuberculosis. Relapse rates were assessed after 4, 5, and 6 mo of treatment to assess stable cure. Single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of rifampin and rifapentine were also determined.
Results
After 2 mo of treatment, twice-weekly therapy with rifapentine (15 or 20 mg/kg), moxifloxacin, and pyrazinamide was significantly more active than standard daily or twice-weekly therapy with rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide. Stable cure was achieved after 4 mo of twice-weekly rifapentine plus isoniazid- or moxifloxacin-containing therapy, but only after 6 mo of standard daily therapy. Twice-weekly rifapentine (15 mg/kg) displayed more favorable pharmacodynamics than did daily rifampin (10 mg/kg).
Conclusions
By virtue of the enhanced rifamycin exposure, twice-weekly regimens containing rifapentine (15 or 20 mg/kg) may permit shortening the current treatment duration by 2 mo. Such regimens warrant clinical investigation.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200602-280OC
PMCID: PMC1862756  PMID: 16574936
moxifloxacin; rifampin; rifapentine; tuberculosis; treatment
6.  Rifapentine, Moxifloxacin, or DNA Vaccine Improves Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis in a Mouse Model 
Rationale
Priorities for developing improved regimens for treatment of latent tuberculosis (TB) infection include (1) developing shorter and/or more intermittently administered regimens that are easier to supervise and (2) developing and evaluating regimens that are active against multidrug-resistant organisms.
Objectives and Methods
By using a previously validated murine model that involves immunizing mice with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin to augment host immunity before infection with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we evaluated new treatment regimens including rifapentine and moxifloxacin, and assessed the potential of the Mycobacterium leprae heat shock protein-65 DNA vaccine to augment the activity of moxifloxacin.
Measurements
Quantitative spleen colony-forming unit counts, and the proportion of mice with culture-positive relapse after treatment, were determined.
Main Results
Three-month, once-weekly regimens of rifapentine combined with either isoniazid or moxifloxacin were as active as daily isoniazid for 6–9 mo. Six-month daily combinations of moxifloxacin with pyrazinamide, ethionamide, or ethambutol were more active than pyrazinamide plus ethambutol, a regimen recommended for latent TB infection after exposure to multidrug-resistant TB. The combination of moxifloxacin with the experimental nitroimidazopyran PA-824 was especially active. Finally, the heat shock protein-65 DNA vaccine had no effect on colony-forming unit counts when given alone, but augmented the bactericidal activity of moxifloxacin.
Conclusions
Together, these findings suggest that rifapentine, moxifloxacin, and, perhaps, therapeutic DNA vaccination have the potential to improve on the current treatment of latent TB infection.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200507-1047OC
PMCID: PMC1853317  PMID: 16151038
DNA vaccine; latency; moxifloxacin; rifapentine; tuberculosis
7.  Rifapentine, Moxifloxacin, or DNA Vaccine Improves Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis in a Mouse Model 
Rationale: Priorities for developing improved regimens for treatment of latent tuberculosis (TB) infection include (1) developing shorter and/or more intermittently administered regimens that are easier to supervise and (2) developing and evaluating regimens that are active against multidrug-resistant organisms.
Objectives and Methods: By using a previously validated murine model that involves immunizing mice with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin to augment host immunity before infection with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we evaluated new treatment regimens including rifapentine and moxifloxacin, and assessed the potential of the Mycobacterium leprae heat shock protein-65 DNA vaccine to augment the activity of moxifloxacin.
Measurements: Quantitative spleen colony-forming unit counts, and the proportion of mice with culture-positive relapse after treatment, were determined.
Main Results: Three-month, once-weekly regimens of rifapentine combined with either isoniazid or moxifloxacin were as active as daily isoniazid for 6–9 mo. Six-month daily combinations of moxifloxacin with pyrazinamide, ethionamide, or ethambutol were more active than pyrazinamide plus ethambutol, a regimen recommended for latent TB infection after exposure to multidrug-resistant TB. The combination of moxifloxacin with the experimental nitroimidazopyran PA-824 was especially active. Finally, the heat shock protein-65 DNA vaccine had no effect on colony-forming unit counts when given alone, but augmented the bactericidal activity of moxifloxacin.
Conclusions: Together, these findings suggest that rifapentine, moxifloxacin, and, perhaps, therapeutic DNA vaccination have the potential to improve on the current treatment of latent TB infection.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200507-1047OC
PMCID: PMC1853317  PMID: 16151038
DNA vaccine; latency; moxifloxacin; rifapentine; tuberculosis
8.  Short-Course Therapy with Daily Rifapentine in a Murine Model of Latent Tuberculosis Infection 
Rationale: Regimens recommended to treat latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are 3 to 9 months long. A 2-month rifampin+pyrazinamide regimen is no longer recommended. Shorter regimens are highly desirable. Because substituting rifapentine for rifampin in the standard regimen for active tuberculosis halves the treatment duration needed to prevent relapse in mice, we hypothesized daily rifapentine-based regimens could shorten LTBI treatment to 2 months or less.
Objectives: To improve an existing model of LTBI chemotherapy and evaluate the efficacy of daily rifapentine-based regimens.
Methods: Mice were immunized with a more immunogenic recombinant Bacille Calmette-Guérin strain (rBCG30) and received very low-dose aerosol infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis to establish a stable lung bacterial burden below 104 CFU without drug treatment. Mice received a control (isoniazid alone, rifampin alone, rifampin+isoniazid, rifampin+pyrazinamide) or test (rifapentine alone, rifapentine+isoniazid, rifapentine+pyrazinamide, rifapentine+isoniazid+pyrazinamide) regimen for 8 weeks. Rifamycin doses were 10 mg/kg/d, analogous to the same human doses. Outcomes were biweekly lung CFU counts and relapse after 4 to 8 weeks of treatment.
Measurements and Main Results: M. tuberculosis CFU counts remained stable around 3.65 log10 in immunized, untreated mice. Isoniazid or rifampin left all or most mice culture-positive at week 8. Rifampin+isoniazid cured 0 and 53% of mice and rifampin+pyrazinamide cured 47 and 100% of mice in 4 and 8 weeks, respectively. Rifapentine-based regimens were more active than rifampin+isoniazid and indistinguishable from rifampin+pyrazinamide.
Conclusions: In this improved murine model of LTBI chemotherapy with very low lung burden, existing regimens were well represented. Daily rifapentine-based regimens were at least as active as rifampin+pyrazinamide, suggesting they could effectively treat LTBI in 6 to 8 weeks.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200905-0795OC
PMCID: PMC2784419  PMID: 19729664
BCG; mouse; isoniazid; rifampin; pyrazinamide
9.  Isoniazid or Moxifloxacin in Rifapentine-based Regimens for Experimental Tuberculosis? 
Rationale: Recent studies have demonstrated that combined substitutions of rifapentine for rifampin and moxifloxacin for isoniazid in the standard, daily, short-course regimen of rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide produces stable cure in 12 weeks or less. This study was designed to more precisely evaluate the contribution of moxifloxacin and isoniazid to rifapentine-based regimens.
Objectives: We compared bactericidal activity and treatment-shortening potential between regimens consisting of isoniazid or moxifloxacin plus rifapentine and pyrazinamide administered either thrice-weekly or daily.
Methods: Using a mouse model of tuberculosis, we assessed bactericidal activity by performing quantitative cultures of lung homogenates over the first 12 weeks of treatment. Relapse rates were assessed after completing 8, 10, and 12 weeks of treatment to determine the duration of treatment necessary for stable cure.
Measurements and Main Results: After 4 weeks of treatment, daily and thrice-weekly therapy with rifapentine, moxifloxacin, and pyrazinamide was significantly more active than treatment with rifapentine, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide. By 8 weeks of treatment, all mice receiving the moxifloxacin-containing regimens were lung culture negative, whereas those mice receiving the isoniazid-containing regimens continued to be lung culture positive. However, the duration of treatment necessary to achieve stable cure was 10 weeks for daily regimens and 12 weeks for thrice-weekly regimens, regardless of whether isoniazid or moxifloxacin was used. All mice receiving standard daily therapy with rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide relapsed after 12 weeks of treatment.
Conclusions: These results suggest that regimens consisting of isoniazid or moxifloxacin plus rifapentine and pyrazinamide may dramatically shorten the duration of treatment needed to cure human tuberculosis.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200807-1029OC
PMCID: PMC2577731  PMID: 18723432
tuberculosis; rifapentine; treatment
10.  Weekly Moxifloxacin and Rifapentine Is More Active Than the Denver Regimen in Murine Tuberculosis 
Rationale: Treatment of tuberculosis with an efficacious once-weekly regimen would be a significant achievement in improving patient adherence. Currently, the only recommended once-weekly continuation phase regimen of isoniazid plus rifapentine (10 mg/kg) is inferior to standard twice-weekly therapy with isoniazid plus rifampin and is, therefore, restricted to non–high-risk patients. The substitution of moxifloxacin, a new 8-methoxyfluoroquinolone, for isoniazid and an increase in the dose of rifapentine could augment the activity of once-weekly regimens.
Methods: To test this hypothesis we evaluated the sterilizing activity of improved once-weekly rifapentine-based continuation phase regimens in a murine model that mimics the treatment of high-risk patients with tuberculosis. The bactericidal activity of standard daily therapy and standard intermittent therapy (“Denver” regimen) was also assessed to evaluate the effect of intermittent drug administration during the initial phase of therapy.
Results: After 2 mo of treatment, lung colony-forming unit counts were 1 log10 lower in mice treated with standard daily therapy than with the Denver regimen. During the continuation phase, the sterilizing activity of once-weekly moxifloxacin plus rifapentine (15 mg/kg) was significantly greater than that of the predominantly twice-weekly Denver regimen of isoniazid plus rifampin. No significant difference in sterilizing activity was detected between once-weekly isoniazid plus rifapentine (15 mg/kg) and the Denver regimen.
Conclusions: These results suggest that the efficacy of the once-weekly isoniazid plus rifapentine continuation phase regimen can be increased by substituting moxifloxacin for isoniazid and by increasing the dose of rifapentine to a clinically acceptable level of 15 mg/kg.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200507-1072OC
PMCID: PMC2718441  PMID: 16141439
antibiotics; intermittent therapy; mouse; treatment

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