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1.  Impact of Granulocytes on the Antimicrobial Effect of Tedizolid in a Mouse Thigh Infection Model▿ 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2011;55(11):5300-5305.
Tedizolid (TR-700, formerly torezolid) is the active component of the new oxazolidinone prodrug tedizolid phosphate (TR-701). We had previously demonstrated that tedizolid possessed potent antistaphylococcal activity superior to that of linezolid in a neutropenic mouse thigh infection model (A. Louie, W. Liu, R. Kulawy, and G. L. Drusano, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 55:3453-3460, 2011). In the current investigation, we used a mouse thigh infection model to delineate the effect of an interaction of TR-700 and granulocytes on staphylococcal cell killing. We compared the antistaphylococcal killing effect of doses of TR-701 equivalent to human exposures ranging from 200 to 3,200 mg/day in both granulocytopenic and normal mice. The mice were evaluated at 24, 48, and 72 h after therapy initiation. In granulocytopenic mice, a clear exposure response in which, depending on the time point of evaluation, stasis was achieved at “human-equivalent” doses of slightly below 2,300 mg/day (at 24 h) to slightly below 2,000 mg/day (at 72 h) was observed. In immune-normal animals, stasis was achieved at human-equivalent doses of slightly greater than 100 mg/day or less. The variance in bacterial cell killing results was attributable to the presence of granulocytes (without drug), the direct effect of TR-700 on Staphylococcus aureus, and the effect of the drug on Staphylococcus aureus mediated through granulocytes. The majority of the bacterial cell killing in normal animals was attributable to the effect of TR-700 mediated through granulocytes. Additional studies need to be undertaken to elucidate the mechanism underlying this observation.
PMCID: PMC3195040  PMID: 21911576
2.  Pharmacokinetic Studies of Fluconazole in Rabbits Characterizing Doses Which Achieve Peak Levels in Serum and Area under the Concentration-Time Curve Values Which Mimic Those of High-Dose Fluconazole in Humans 
We conducted steady-state pharmacokinetic studies with high-dose fluconazole with rabbits and human volunteers. We then derived mathematical equations that predict the doses of fluconazole that should be given to rabbits to produce 24-h area under the concentration-time curve values and maximum concentrations in serum that are similar to those measured for humans given 800 to 2,000 mg of fluconazole per day. These equations provide a rational basis for designing future efficacy studies with rabbits and in evaluating the strength with which results of previously conducted studies using rabbit infection models can be extrapolated to the clinic.
PMCID: PMC105634  PMID: 9624506
3.  Evaluation of Once-Daily Vancomycin against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Hollow-Fiber Infection Model 
For methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, data suggest that the clinical response is significantly better if the total vancomycin area under the concentration-time curve (AUC)/MIC ratio is ≥400. While the AUC/MIC ratio is the accepted pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) index for vancomycin, this target has been achieved using multiple daily doses. We are unaware of a systematically designed dose fractionation study to compare the bactericidal activity of once-daily administration to that of traditional twice-daily administration. A dose fractionation study was performed with vancomycin in an in vitro hollow-fiber infection model against an MRSA USA300 strain (MIC of 0.75 μg/ml) using an inoculum of ∼106 CFU/ml. The three vancomycin regimens evaluated for 168 h were 2 g every 24 h (q24h) as a 1-h infusion, 1 g q12h as a 1-h infusion, and 2 g q24h as a continuous infusion. Free steady-state concentrations (assuming 45% binding) for a total daily AUC/MIC ratio of ≥400 were simulated for all regimens. A validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was used to determine vancomycin concentrations. Although once-daily and twice-daily dosage regimens exhibited total trough concentrations of <15 μg/ml, all regimens achieved similar bactericidal activities between 24 and 168 h and suppressed the amplification of nonsusceptible subpopulations. No colonies were found on agar plates with 3× MIC for any of the treatment arms. Overall, the results suggest that once-daily vancomycin administration is feasible from a PK/PD perspective and merits further inquiry in the clinical arena.
PMCID: PMC3264248  PMID: 22083484
4.  Optimization of Aminoglycoside Therapy▿ 
Aminoglycosides are experiencing a resurgence in use because of the spread of multiresistant Gram-negative pathogens. Use of these agents is attended by the occurrence of nephrotoxicity. Aminoglycoside optimization of dose can be defined as the dose having the highest likelihood of a good outcome and the lowest likelihood of toxicity. We have defined the metric Δ as the difference between the likelihoods of good outcome and toxicity, with higher values being better. We developed a method for explicitly evaluating Δ for different daily doses of drug and different schedules of administration. In the empirical therapy setting, when aminoglycosides are administered every 12 h, treatment of infections caused by microbes with MIC values greater than 1 mg/liter cannot attain a high enough likelihood of a good outcome without engendering an unacceptable toxicity likelihood. Daily administration, by decrementing the likelihood of toxicity, allows higher doses to be employed with more acceptable probabilities of toxicity. Obtaining patient-specific information (concentration-time data) allows better identification of the patient's specific pharmacokinetic parameters and dispersion. As these become better identified, optimal doses become rapidly identified so that optimal outcomes are attained. Optimization of therapy for aminoglycosides requires understanding the relationship between exposure and response as well as that between exposure and toxicity. Furthermore, daily administration is much preferred, and stopping therapy as quickly as possible (a week or less may be optimal) will contribute to the ability to optimize therapy.
PMCID: PMC3101448  PMID: 21402835
5.  Impact of Burden on Granulocyte Clearance of Bacteria in a Mouse Thigh Infection Model ▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(10):4368-4372.
We wished to delineate granulocytes' impact on the clearance of different bacterial burdens of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in a granulocyte-replete mouse thigh infection model. A mouse thigh model was employed. Bacterial challenges from 105 to 3 × 107 CFU (S. aureus) and from 3 × 104 to 3 × 108 CFU (P. aeruginosa) were injected into murine posterior thighs. Organism quantitation was at baseline, 2 h (Pseudomonas only), and 24 h. A Michaelis-Menten population model was fit to the data for each organism. Breakpoints for microbial containment by granulocytes were identified. Bacterial burdens exceeding that breakpoint value resulted in organism multiplication. The Michaelis-Menten model fit the data well. For P. aeruginosa, the observed-predicted plot had a regression equation that explained over 98% of the variance (P ≪ 0.001). For S. aureus, this relationship explained greater than 94% of the variance (P ≪ 0.001). Maximal growth rate constants, maximal population burdens, and the bacterial loads at which granulocytes killed if half-saturated were not different. The kill rate constant for P. aeruginosa was almost 10 times that of S. aureus. Bacterial kill by granulocytes is saturable. No difference between saturation points of different isolates was seen. A higher bacterial burden means an increasing reliance on chemotherapy to drive bacterial clearance.
PMCID: PMC2944594  PMID: 20516275
6.  Differential Effects of Linezolid and Ciprofloxacin on Toxin Production by Bacillus anthracis in an In Vitro Pharmacodynamic System 
Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax. Ciprofloxacin is a gold standard for the treatment of anthrax. Previously, using the non-toxin-producing ΔSterne strain of B. anthracis, we demonstrated that linezolid was equivalent to ciprofloxacin for reducing the total (vegetative and spore) bacterial population. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, the population consisted primarily of vegetative bacteria. Linezolid is a protein synthesis inhibitor, while ciprofloxacin is not. Since toxins are produced only by vegetative B. anthracis, the effect of linezolid and ciprofloxacin on toxin production is of interest. The effect of simulated clinical regimens of ciprofloxacin and linezolid on the vegetative and spore populations and on toxin production was examined in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model over 15 days by using the toxin-producing Sterne strain of B. anthracis. Ciprofloxacin and linezolid reduced the total Sterne population at similar rates. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total Sterne population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, >90% of the population was vegetative B. anthracis. With ciprofloxacin therapy, toxin was first detectable at 3 h and remained detectable for at least 5 h. Toxin was never detected with linezolid therapy. Ciprofloxacin and linezolid reduced the total Sterne population at similar rates. However, the B. anthracis population was primarily spores with ciprofloxacin therapy and was primarily vegetative bacteria with linezolid therapy. Toxin production was detected for at least 5 h with ciprofloxacin therapy but was never detected with linezolid treatment. Linezolid may have an advantage over ciprofloxacin for the treatment of B. anthracis infections.
PMCID: PMC3256020  PMID: 22064542
7.  Optimization of the Dosage of Flucytosine in Combination with Amphotericin B for Disseminated Candidiasis: a Pharmacodynamic Rationale for Reduced Dosing▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2007;51(10):3760-3762.
Amphotericin B and flucytosine (5FC) have an additive effect when used for disseminated candidiasis. Here, we bridge the results of an experimental pharmacodynamic study to humans and demonstrate that a 5FC dosage of 25 mg/kg of body weight/day in four divided doses in combination with amphotericin B produces near-maximal effect.
PMCID: PMC2043255  PMID: 17682101
8.  Effect of Neutropenia and Treatment Delay on the Response to Antifungal Agents in Experimental Disseminated Candidiasis▿  
Disseminated candidiasis is associated with a high rate of morbidity and mortality. The presence of neutrophils and the timely administration of antifungal agents are likely to be critical factors for a favorable therapeutic outcome of this syndrome. The effect of neutropenia on the temporal profile of the burden of Candida albicans in untreated mice and those treated with amphotericin B was determined using a pharmacodynamic model of disseminated candidiasis. A mathematical model was developed to describe the rate and extent of the C. albicans killing attributable to neutrophils and to amphotericin B. The consequences of a delay in the administration of amphotericin B, flucytosine, or micafungin were studied by defining dose-response relationships. Neutrophils caused a logarithmic decline in fungal burden in treated and untreated mice. The combination of amphotericin B and neutrophils resulted in a high rate of Candida killing and a sustained anti-C. albicans effect. In neutropenic mice, 5 mg/kg of body weight of amphotericin B was required to prevent progressive logarithmic growth. An increased delay in drug administration resulted in a reduction in the maximum effect to a point at which no drug effect could be observed. Neutrophils and the timely initiation of antifungal agents are critical determinants in the treatment of experimental disseminated candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC1797682  PMID: 17088486
9.  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
10.  Pharmacodynamics of Levofloxacin in a Murine Pneumonia Model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection: Determination of Epithelial Lining Fluid Targets▿  
The dose choice for Pseudomonas aeruginosa remains a matter of debate. The actual exposure targets required for multilog killing of organisms at the primary infection site have not been delineated. We studied Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 using a murine model of pneumonia. We employed a large mathematical model to fit all the concentration-time data in plasma and epithelial lining fluid (ELF) as well as colony counts in lung simultaneously for all drug doses. Penetration into ELF was calculated to be approximately 77.7%, as indexed to the ratio of the area under the concentration-time curve for ELF (AUCELF) to the AUCplasma. We determined the ELF concentration-time profile required to drive a stasis response as well as 1-, 2-, or 3-log10(CFU/g) kill. AUC/MIC ratios of 12.4, 31.2, 62.8, and 127.6 were required to drive these bacterial responses. Emergence of resistance was seen only at the two lowest doses (three of five animals at 50 mg/kg [body weight] and one of five animals at 100 mg/kg). The low exposure targets were likely driven by a low mutational frequency to resistance. Bridging to humans was performed using Monte Carlo simulation. With a 750-mg levofloxacin dose, target attainment rates fell below 90% at 4 mg/liter, 1 mg/liter, and 0.5 mg/liter for 1-, 2-, and 3-log kills, respectively. Given the low exposure targets seen with this strain, we conclude that levofloxacin at a 750-mg dose is not adequate for serious Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia as a single agent. More isolates need to be studied to make these observations more robust.
PMCID: PMC2715581  PMID: 19364849
11.  Once-Weekly Micafungin Therapy Is as Effective as Daily Therapy for Disseminated Candidiasis in Mice with Persistent Neutropenia▿  
The effect of micafungin dose scheduling on the treatment of candidemia is unknown. Neutropenic mice with disseminated Candida glabrata infection were treated with single intraperitoneal micafungin doses of 0 to 100 mg/kg of body weight and sacrificed 7 days later. The maximal decline in kidney fungal burden was 5.8 log10 CFU/g. A 1-week pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic study revealed a micafungin serum half-life of 6.13 h. In mice treated with ≥50 mg/kg, there was maximal fungal decline without regrowth during the 1-week dosing interval. Next, doses associated with 34% (34% effective dose [ED34]) and 50% (ED50) of maximal kill were administered at one of three dose schedules: a single dose at t = 0, two equal doses at t = 0 and t = 3.5 days, and 7 equal doses daily. Some mice received a single dose of 100 mg/kg. Fungal burden was examined on days 1, 5, and 7. In mice treated with the ED34, microbial kill with the daily therapy initially lagged behind the intermittent doses but exceeded it by day 7. In mice treated with the ED50, daily and intermittent doses had equivalent day 7 effects. In mice treated with 100 mg/kg, there was no regrowth. The relative likelihoods that the area under the concentration-time curve/MIC ratio was linked to microbial kill versus peak concentration/MIC ratio or time above the MIC was 10.3 and 10,161.2, respectively. In all the experiments, no paradoxical increase in fungal burden was observed with high micafungin doses. However, only a single Candida isolate was tested. Regimens that simulated micafungin concentration-time profiles in patients treated with a single micafungin dose of 1,400 mg once a week demonstrated maximal fungal decline. Once-weekly micafungin therapy is as efficacious as daily therapy in a murine model of disseminated candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC1803141  PMID: 17194830
12.  Pharmacodynamic Evidence that Ciprofloxacin Failure against Tuberculosis Is Not Due to Poor Microbial Kill but to Rapid Emergence of Resistance 
Studies of early bactericidal activity provide a fast and economic way to evaluate the clinical efficacy of potential agents for the treatment of tuberculosis. Based on good early bactericidal activity data, ciprofloxacin entered further studies and is now recommended as part of treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. We examined the relationship between ciprofloxacin bactericidal activity and the emergence of resistance in an in vitro pharmacodynamic infection model in which we exposed Mycobacterium tuberculosis to simulated free-drug ciprofloxacin serum concentration-time profiles that mimic those encountered in humans treated with ciprofloxacin orally for 2 weeks. Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures were sampled during the experiment in order to determine the effect of therapy on the total microbial population as well as the drug-resistant population. The ciprofloxacin regimen, which achieved a ratio of the area under the concentration time curve from 0 to 24 h to MIC of 80.4, resulted in a rapid microbial kill similar to that encountered in humans during studies of early bactericidal activity. However, despite this impressive bactericidal activity, resistance emerged quickly. By the end of the first week, most of the microbial population had been replaced by a ciprofloxacin-resistant population. Given the MICs encountered in clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis, we estimate that most clinically tolerable doses of ciprofloxacin will lead to emergence of resistance, especially when used as the only effective component of regimens given for treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. One of the explanations for why early bactericidal activity fails to predict sterilization may be the emergence of a resistant subpopulation, which only becomes ≥1% at the end of the early bactericidal activity studies.
PMCID: PMC1196238  PMID: 16048921
13.  Comparative Efficacies of Candidate Antibiotics against Yersinia pestis in an In Vitro Pharmacodynamic Model▿ 
Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Streptomycin is the “gold standard” for the treatment of plague infections in humans, but the drug is not available in many countries, and resistance to this antibiotic occurs naturally and has been generated in the laboratory. Other antibiotics have been shown to be active against Y. pestis in vitro and in vivo. However, the relative efficacies of clinically prescribed regimens of these antibiotics with streptomycin and with each other for the killing of Yersinia pestis are unknown. The efficacies of simulated pharmacokinetic profiles for human 10-day clinical regimens of ampicillin, meropenem, moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and gentamicin were compared with the gold standard, streptomycin, for killing of Yersinia pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model. Resistance amplification with therapy was also assessed. Streptomycin killed the microbe in one trial but failed due to resistance amplification in the second trial. In two trials, the other antibiotics consistently reduced the bacterial densities within the pharmacodynamic systems from 108 CFU/ml to undetectable levels (<102 CFU/ml) between 1 and 3 days of treatment. None of the comparator agents selected for resistance. The comparator antibiotics were superior to streptomycin against Y. pestis and deserve further evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3101461  PMID: 21486959
14.  The Relationship between Quinolone Exposures and Resistance Amplification Is Characterized by an Inverted U: a New Paradigm for Optimizing Pharmacodynamics To Counterselect Resistance▿  
We determined the relationship between garenoxacin exposure and quinolone-resistant subpopulations for three bacterial isolates in an in vitro hollow-fiber infection model. An “inverted-U” relationship was identified wherein resistant subpopulations rose initially and then declined with increasing exposure, until reaching a threshold that prevented resistance amplifications. Different targets for the area under the concentration-time curve over 24 h/MIC ratio were required for different bacteria.
PMCID: PMC1797751  PMID: 17116679
15.  Anidulafungin Pharmacokinetics and Microbial Response in Neutropenic Mice with Disseminated Candidiasis▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2006;50(11):3695-3700.
Candidemia is often fatal, especially in patients with persistent neutropenia. New therapies are needed. We performed 24-h pharmacodynamic studies to compare the efficacies of anidulafungin, fluconazole, and amphotericin B in neutropenic mice with disseminated candidiasis caused by one of three strains of Candida glabrata. Anidulafungin produced a maximal fungal kill (Emax) of 1.4 to 1.9 log10 CFU/g in kidneys and was not influenced by resistance to either fluconazole or amphotericin B. Fluconazole produced an Emax of 1.3 log10 CFU/g in mice infected with fluconazole-susceptible C. glabrata, but the Emax was 0 for mice infected with a C. glabrata strain that had a fluconazole MIC of ≥32 mg/liter. Amphotericin B achieved an Emax of 4.2 log10 CFU/g in mice infected with amphotericin B-susceptible C. glabrata, but the Emax was 0 for mice infected with a C. glabrata strain with an amphotericin B MIC of 2 mg/liter. In all instances, anidulafungin's maximal microbial kill was superior to that of fluconazole. Next, we performed a 96-h anidulafungin pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic study. Anidulafungin exhibited delayed peak concentrations in kidneys compared to those in serum, after which the concentrations declined, with a serum terminal half-life of 21.6 (±4.6) h. This was accompanied by a persistent 96-h decrease in the kidney fungal burden after treatment with a single anidulafungin dose of ≥8 mg/kg of body weight. This pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic picture of anidulafungin persistence in tissues and the resultant persistent fungal decline should be exploited to improve the efficacy of anidulafungin therapy for candidemia.
PMCID: PMC1635198  PMID: 16954319
16.  Pharmacodynamics of Daptomycin in a Murine Thigh Model of Staphylococcus aureus Infection 
Daptomycin is a lipopeptide antibiotic with activity against gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus. We defined the pharmacodynamic parameters that determine the activity of daptomycin for S. aureus using in vitro methods and the Craig (W. A. Craig, J. Redington, and S. C. Ebert, J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 27[Suppl. C]:29–40, 1991) neutropenic mouse thigh infection model. In Mueller-Hinton broth, the MICs for three S. aureus isolates were 0.1 to 0.2 μg/ml. In mouse serum, the MICs were 1.0 μg/ml. The protein binding of daptomycin was 90 to 92.5% in mouse serum. Single-dose intraperitoneal (i.p.) pharmacokinetic studies with infected mice showed a linear relationship between dose versus the maximum concentration of drug in serum and dose versus the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC). The serum half-life of daptomycin in infected mice was approximately 1.8 h. In single-dose, dose-ranging studies using mice, daptomycin showed a dose-response effect described by an inhibitory sigmoid Emax (maximum effect) curve (r = 0.974; P ≪ 0.001). The density of S. aureus in untreated controls was 8.26 log10 CFU/g, and the Emax was 3.97 log10 CFU/g. The 50% effective dose (ED50) was 3.7 mg/kg of body weight i.p. and the stasis dose was 7.1 mg/kg. Dose fractionation studies at schedules of Q6h, Q12h, and Q24h, for total 24-h ED30, ED60, and ED80 doses of 2.5, 5.6, and 15 mg/kg i.p., showed no difference in effect at each total 24-h dose level by schedule, indicating that the AUC/MIC ratio is the dynamically linked variable.
PMCID: PMC90383  PMID: 11181370
17.  Pharmacodynamic Evaluation of the Activities of Six Parenteral Vancomycin Products Available in the United States 
A recent report found that generic parenteral vancomycin products may not have in vivo efficacies equivalent to those of the innovator in a neutropenic murine thigh infection model despite having similar in vitro microbiological activities and murine serum pharmacokinetics. We compared the in vitro and in vivo activities of six of the parenteral vancomycin products available in the United States. The in vitro assessments for the potencies of the vancomycin products included MIC/minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) determinations, quantifying the impact of human and murine serum on the MIC values, and time-kill studies. Also, the potencies of the vancomycin products were quantified with a biological assay, and the human and mouse serum protein binding rates for the vancomycin products were measured. The in vivo studies included dose-ranging experiments with the 6 vancomycin products for three isolates of Staphylococcus aureus in a neutropenic mouse thigh infection model. The pharmacokinetics of the vancomycin products were assessed in infected mice by population pharmacokinetic modeling. No differences were seen across the vancomycin products with regard to any in vitro evaluation. Inhibitory sigmoid maximal bacterial kill (Emax) modeling of the relationship between vancomycin dosage and the killing of the bacteria in mice in vivo yielded similar Emax and EC50 (drug exposure driving one-half Emax) values for bacterial killing. Further, there were no differences in the pharmacokinetic clearances of the 6 vancomycin products from infected mice. There were no important pharmacodynamic differences in the in vitro or in vivo activities among the six vancomycin products evaluated.
PMCID: PMC4291350  PMID: 25385113
18.  Natural History of Yersinia pestis Pneumonia in Aerosol-Challenged BALB/c Mice 
After a relatively short untreated interval, pneumonic plague has a mortality approaching 100%. We employed a murine model of aerosol challenge with Yersinia pestis to investigate the early course of pneumonic plague in the lung, blood, and spleen. We fit a mathematical model to all data simultaneously. The model fit to the data was acceptable. The number of organisms in the lung at baseline was estimated to be 135 (median) or 1,184 (mean) CFU/g. The doubling time was estimated as 1.5 to 1.7 h. Between 1 and 12 h postexposure, counts declined, but they then increased by 24 h, a finding hypothesized to be due to innate immunity. The model predicted that innate immunity declined with a half-time of 3 to 3.8 h. The threshold for bacteremia was 6.4 × 104 to 1.52 × 106 CFU/g. By 42 to 48 h, stationary phase was obtained. Lung bacterial burdens exceeded 10 log CFU/g. Obviating early defenses allows for rapid amplification of Y. pestis in bacteremia, making the rapid course with high mortality understandable.
PMCID: PMC3632931  PMID: 23403418
19.  Differing Effects of Combination Chemotherapy with Meropenem and Tobramycin on Cell Kill and Suppression of Resistance of Wild-Type Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and Its Isogenic MexAB Efflux Pump-Overexpressed Mutant▿  
The drug interaction terminology (synergy, additivity, antagonism) relates to bacterial kill. The suppression of resistance requires greater drug exposure. We examined the combination of meropenem and tobramycin for kill and resistance suppression (wild-type Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and its isogenic MexAB-overexpressed mutant). The drug interaction was additive. The introduction of MexAB overexpression significantly altered the 50% inhibitory concentration of meropenem but not that of tobramycin, resulting in the recovery of a marked increase in colony numbers from drug-containing plates. For the wild type, more tobramycin-resistant isolates than meropenem-resistant isolates were present, and the tobramycin-resistant isolates were harder to suppress. MexAB overexpression unexpectedly caused a significant increase in the number of tobramycin-resistant mutants, as indexed to the area under the curve of slices through the inverted U resistance mountain. The differences were significant, except in the absence of meropenem. We hypothesize that the pump resulted in the presence of less meropenem for organism inhibition, allowing more rounds of replication and also affecting the numbers of tobramycin-resistant mutants. When resistance suppression is explored by combination chemotherapy, it is important to examine the impacts of differing resistance mechanisms for both agents.
PMCID: PMC2687233  PMID: 19289521
20.  Is 60 Days of Ciprofloxacin Administration Necessary for Postexposure Prophylaxis for Bacillus anthracis?▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2008;52(11):3973-3979.
Sixty days of ciprofloxacin administration at 500 mg every 12 h is currently recommended for the prophylaxis of inhalational exposure to Bacillus anthracis. We examined Bacillus anthracis (Δ-Sterne strain) in our hollow-fiber infection model. We measured the ciprofloxacin concentrations achieved and the number of organisms present before heat shock (total population) and after heat shock (spore population). We fit a mathematical model to these data. Monte Carlo simulation with differing initial spore burdens (3, 5, and 6.9 log10 CFU/ml) demonstrated that 35 days of this regimen would completely clear the spore burden in 95% of patients. Durations of 110 days did not achieve 99.9% eradication, irrespective of initial burden, because of between-patient variance in drug pharmacokinetics. Given the absence of person-to-person transmission for Bacillus anthracis, adverse drug effects with long-term ciprofloxacin administration, and the possibility of engendering resistance in bodily flora, shorter prophylaxis duration should be given consideration, along with careful monitoring of all exposed individuals.
PMCID: PMC2573157  PMID: 18725437
21.  Pharmacokinetics of Pentoxifylline and Its Metabolites in Healthy Mice and in Mice Infected with Candida albicans 
Pentoxifylline has immunomodulatory properties and has been shown to decrease organ damage and improve survival in animals with gram-negative sepsis or endotoxemia. This effect is mediated by a reduction in endotoxin-induced production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) by the host. In earlier studies, we observed an unexpected increase in mortality in mice infected with Candida albicans that were given pentoxifylline even though concentrations of TNF-α in serum were not affected. The current study was designed to determine whether the pharmacokinetics of pentoxifylline and its metabolites were altered in C. albicans-infected mice and, if so, whether these changes could have contributed to the increased mortality. Noninfected mice and mice infected with C. albicans were treated with pentoxifylline (60 mg/kg of body weight) intraperitoneally every 8 h. Serum was collected from animals after one (day 0), four (day 1), or seven (day 2) injections of pentoxifylline or saline (controls). The first dose was administered 6 h after C. albicans infection. Serum was pooled. Concentrations of pentoxifylline and metabolites I, IV, and V were determined by capillary gas chromatography. Renal function and hepatic profiles were assessed. Pharmacokinetic parameters (maximum concentration of pentoxifylline in serum, half-life, and area under the concentration-time curve from 0 h to infinity [AUC0–∞]) for all noninfected mice were similar and did not differ from those for day 0-infected mice. For day 1-infected mice, values of these three pharmacokinetic parameters for pentoxifylline and metabolite I were increased two- to fourfold over values for noninfected and day 0-infected mice. For metabolites IV and V, the AUC0–∞ was increased approximately eightfold over control values. In addition, day 1-infected mice demonstrated evidence of renal and hepatic dysfunction. In summary, C. albicans infection produced marked changes in the pharmacokinetics of pentoxifylline and its metabolites in the mice. The high concentrations of pentoxifylline and its metabolites in serum attained in infected mice may have contributed to the increased mortality of mice with systemic candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC105841  PMID: 9736571
22.  Evaluation of Imipenem for Prophylaxis and Therapy of Yersinia pestis Delivered by Aerosol in a Mouse Model of Pneumonic Plague 
It has been previously shown that mice subjected to an aerosol exposure to Yersinia pestis and treated with β-lactam antibiotics after a delay of 42 h died at an accelerated rate compared to controls. It was hypothesized that endotoxin release in antibiotic-treated mice accounted for the accelerated death rate in the mice exposed to aerosol Y. pestis. Imipenem, a β-lactam antibiotic, binds to penicillin binding protein 2 with the highest affinity and produces rounded cells. The binding of imipenem causes cells to lyse quickly and thereby to release less free endotoxin. Two imipenem regimens producing fractions of time that the concentration of free, unbound drug was above the MIC (fT>MIC) of approximately 25% (6/24 h) and 40% (9.5/24 h) were evaluated. In the postexposure prophylaxis study, the 40% and 25% regimens produced 90% and 40% survivorship, respectively. In the 42-h treatment study, both regimens demonstrated a 40 to 50% survivorship at therapy cessation and some deaths thereafter, resulting in a 30% survivorship. As this was an improvement over the results with other β-lactams, a comparison of both endotoxin and cytokine levels in mice treated with imipenem and ceftazidime (a β-lactam previously demonstrated to accelerate death in mice during treatment) was performed and supported the original hypotheses; however, the levels observed in animals treated with ciprofloxacin (included as an unrelated antibiotic that is also bactericidal but should cause little lysis due to a different mode of action) were elevated and significantly (7-fold) higher than those with ceftazidime.
PMCID: PMC4068467  PMID: 24687492
23.  Hollow-Fiber Pharmacodynamic Studies and Mathematical Modeling To Predict the Efficacy of Amoxicillin for Anthrax Postexposure Prophylaxis in Pregnant Women and Children 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2013;57(12):5946-5960.
Amoxicillin is considered an option for postexposure prophylaxis of Bacillus anthracis in pregnant and postpartum women who are breastfeeding and in children because of the potential toxicities of ciprofloxacin and doxycycline to the fetus and child. The amoxicillin regimen that effectively kills B. anthracis and prevents resistance is unknown. Fourteen-day dose range and dose fractionation studies were conducted in in vitro pharmacodynamic models to identify the exposure intensity and pharmacodynamic index of amoxicillin that are linked with optimized killing of B. anthracis and resistance prevention. Studies with dicloxacillin, a drug resistant to B. anthracis beta-lactamase, evaluated the role of beta-lactamase production in the pharmacodynamic indices for B. anthracis killing and resistance prevention. Dose fractionation studies showed that trough/MIC and not time above MIC was the index for amoxicillin that was linked to successful outcome through resistance prevention. Failure of amoxicillin regimens was due to inducible or stable high level expression of beta-lactamases. Studies with dicloxacillin demonstrated that a time above MIC of ≥94% was linked with treatment success when B. anthracis beta-lactamase activity was negated. Recursive partitioning analysis showed that amoxicillin regimens that produced peak concentrations of <10.99 μg/ml and troughs of >1.75 μg/ml provided a 100% success rate. Other amoxicillin peak and trough values produced success rates of 28 to 67%. For postpartum and pregnant women and children, Monte Carlo simulations predicted success rates for amoxicillin at 1 g every 8 h (q8h) of 53, 33, and 44% (30 mg/kg q8h), respectively. We conclude that amoxicillin is suboptimal for postexposure prophylaxis of B. anthracis in pregnant and postpartum women and in children.
PMCID: PMC3837908  PMID: 24041894
24.  Impact of the Order of Initiation of Fluconazole and Amphotericin B in Sequential or Combination Therapy on Killing of Candida albicans In Vitro and in a Rabbit Model of Endocarditis and Pyelonephritis 
In vitro time-kill studies and a rabbit model of endocarditis and pyelonephritis were used to define the impact that the order of exposure of Candida albicans to fluconazole (FLC) and amphotericin B (AMB), as sequential and combination therapies, had on the susceptibility of C. albicans to AMB and on the outcome. The contribution of FLC-induced resistance to AMB for C. albicans also was assessed. In vitro, AMB monotherapy rapidly killed each of four C. albicans strains; FLC alone was fungistatic. Preincubation of these fungi with FLC for 18 h prior to exposure to AMB decreased their susceptibilities to AMB for 8 to >40 h. Induced resistance to AMB was transient, but the duration of resistance increased with the length of FLC preincubation. Yeast sequentially incubated with FLC followed by AMB plus FLC (FLC→AMB+FLC) showed fungistatic growth kinetics similar to that of fungi that were exposed to FLC alone. This antagonistic effect persisted for at least 24 h. Simultaneous exposure of C. albicans to AMB and FLC [AMB+FLC(simult)] demonstrated activity similar to that with AMB alone for AMB concentrations of ≥1 μg/ml; antagonism was seen using an AMB concentration of 0.5 μg/ml. The in vitro findings accurately predicted outcomes in our rabbit infection model. In vivo, AMB monotherapy and treatment with AMB for 24 h followed by AMB plus FLC (AMB→AMB+FLC) rapidly sterilized kidneys and cardiac vegetations. AMB+FLC(simult) and FLC→AMB treatments were slower in clearing fungi from infected tissues. FLC monotherapy and FLC→AMB+FLC were both fungistatic and were the least active regimens. No adverse interaction was observed between AMB and FLC for the AMB→FLC regimen. However, FLC→AMB treatment was slower than AMB alone in clearing fungi from tissues. Thus, our in vitro and in vivo studies both demonstrate that preexposure of C. albicans to FLC reduces fungal susceptibility to AMB. The length of FLC preexposure and whether AMB is subsequently used alone or in combination with FLC determine the duration of induced resistance to AMB.
PMCID: PMC90317  PMID: 11158745
25.  Interaction between Fluconazole and Amphotericin B in Mice with Systemic Infection Due to Fluconazole-Susceptible or -Resistant Strains of Candida albicans 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1999;43(12):2841-2847.
The interaction between fluconazole (Flu) and amphotericin B (AmB) was evaluated in a murine model of systemic candidiasis for one Flu-susceptible strain (MIC, 0.5 μg/ml), two strains with intermediate Flu resistance (Flu mid-resistant strains) (MIC, 64 and 128 μg/ml), and one highly Flu-resistant strain (MIC, 512 μg/ml) of Candida albicans. Differences in fungal densities in kidneys of infected mice after 24 h of therapy and in survival rates at 62 days of mice treated with an antifungal drug or a combination of antifungal drugs for 4 days were compared. For the Flu-susceptible and Flu mid-resistant strains, the combination of Flu and AmB was antagonistic, as shown by both quantitative culture results and survival. The interaction was additive for the highly Flu-resistant strain. These results suggest that the combination of Flu and AmB should be used with caution in infections due to fungi that are usually susceptible to both antifungal agents and as empirical antifungal drug therapy.
PMCID: PMC89574  PMID: 10582869

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