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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.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  Efficacies of High-Dose Fluconazole plus Amphotericin B and High-Dose Fluconazole plus 5-Fluorocytosine versus Amphotericin B, Fluconazole, and 5-Fluorocytosine Monotherapies in Treatment of Experimental Endocarditis, Endophthalmitis, and Pyelonephritis Due to Candida albicans 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1999;43(12):2831-2840.
We compared the efficacies of fluconazole (Flu), amphotericin B (AmB), and 5-fluorocytosine (5FC) monotherapies with the combination of Flu plus 5FC and Flu plus AmB in a rabbit model of Candida albicans endocarditis, endophthalmitis, and pyelonephritis. The dose of Flu used was that which resulted in an area under the concentration-time curve in rabbits equivalent to that seen in humans who receive Flu at 1,600 mg/day, the highest dose not associated with central nervous system toxicity in humans. Quantitative cultures of heart valve vegetations, the choroid-retina, vitreous humor, and kidney were conducted after 1, 5, 14, and 21 days of therapy. All untreated controls died within 6 days of infection; animals treated with 5FC monotherapy all died within 18 days. In contrast, 93% of animals in the other treatment groups appeared well and survived until they were sacrificed. At day 5, the relative decreases in CFU per gram in the vitreous humor were greater in groups that received Flu alone and in combination with 5FC or AmB than in groups receiving AmB or 5FC monotherapies (P < 0.005) but were similar thereafter. In the choroid-retina, 5FC was the least-active drug. However, there were no differences in choroidal fungal densities between the other treatment groups. On days 5 and 14 of therapy, fungal densities in kidneys of AmB recipients were lower than those resulting from the other therapies (P < 0.001 and P ≤ 0.038, respectively) and AmB-plus-Flu therapy was antagonistic; however, all therapies for fungal pyelonephritis were similar by treatment day 21. While fungal counts in cardiac valves of Flu recipients were similar to those of controls on day 5 of therapy and did not change from days 1 to 21, AmB therapy significantly decreased valvular CFUs versus Flu at days 5, 14, and 21 (P < 0.005 at each time point). 5FC plus Flu demonstrated enhanced killing in cardiac vegetations compared with Flu or 5FC as monotherapies (P < 0.03). Similarly, the combination of AmB and Flu was more active than Flu in reducing the fungal density in cardiac vegetations (P < 0.03). However, as in the kidney, AmB plus Flu demonstrated antagonism versus AmB monotherapy in the treatment of C. albicans endocarditis (P < 0.05, P = 0.036, and P < 0.008 on days 5, 14, and 21, respectively).
PMCID: PMC89573  PMID: 10582868
11.  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
12.  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
13.  Pharmacokinetics of Sparfloxacin in the Serum and Vitreous Humor of Rabbits: Physicochemical Properties That Regulate Penetration of Quinolone Antimicrobials 
We have used a recently described animal model to characterize the ocular pharmacokinetics of sparfloxacin in vitreous humor of uninfected albino rabbits following systemic administration and direct intraocular injection. The relationships of lipophilicity, protein binding, and molecular weight to the penetration and elimination of sparfloxacin were compared to those of ciprofloxacin, fleroxacin, and ofloxacin. To determine whether elimination was active, elimination rates following direct injection with and without probenecid or heat-killed bacteria were compared. Sparfloxacin concentrations were measured in the serum and vitreous humor by a biological assay. Protein binding and lipophilicity were determined, respectively, by ultrafiltration and oil-water partitioning. Pharmacokinetic parameters were characterized with RSTRIP, an iterative, nonlinear, weighted, least-squares-regression program. The relationship between each independent variable and mean quinolone concentration or elimination rate in the vitreous humor was determined by multiple linear regression. The mean concentration of sparfloxacin in the vitreous humor was 59.4% ± 12.2% of that in serum. Penetration of sparfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, fleroxacin, and ofloxacin into, and elimination from, the vitreous humor correlated with lipophilicity (r2 > 0.999). The linear-regression equation describing this relationship was not improved by including the inverse of the square root of the molecular weight and/or the degree of protein binding. Elimination rates for each quinolone were decreased by the intraocular administration of probenecid. Heat-killed Staphylococcus epidermidis decreased the rate of elimination of fleroxacin. Penetration of sparfloxacin into the noninflamed vitreous humor was greater than that of any quinolone previously examined. There was an excellent correlation between lipophilicity and vitreous entry or elimination for sparfloxacin as well as ciprofloxacin, fleroxacin, and ofloxacin. There are two modes of quinolone translocation into and out of the vitreous humor: diffusion into the eye and both diffusion and carrier-mediated elimination out of the vitreous humor.
PMCID: PMC105615  PMID: 9624487
14.  Pharmacodynamics of Fluconazole in a Murine Model of Systemic Candidiasis 
In this study we defined the pharmacodynamic parameter that optimizes outcome in deep-seated Candida albicans infections treated with fluconazole. Using a murine model of systemic candidiasis, we conducted single-dose dose-ranging studies with fluconazole to determine the dosage of this drug that resulted in a 50% reduction in fungal densities (50% effective dose [ED50]) in kidneys versus the fungal densities in the kidneys of untreated controls. We found that the ED50 of fluconazole given intraperitoneally was 4.56 mg/kg of body weight/day (95% confidence interval, 3.60 to 5.53 mg/kg/day), and the dose-response relationship was best described by an inhibitory sigmoid maximal effect (Emax) curve. To define the pharmacodynamics of fluconazole, we gave dosages lower than, approximating, and higher than the ED50 of fluconazole (range, 3.5 to 5.5 mg/kg/day, equivalent to the ED16 to the ED75) to various groups of infected animals using three dose-fractionation schedules. For each total dose of fluconazole examined, the dose-fractionation schedules optimized the ratio of the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) to the MIC (the AUC/MIC ratio), the ratio of the maximum concentration of drug in serum (Cmax) to the MIC, and the time that the drug remained above the MIC for the infecting C. albicans isolate. Similar reductions in fungal densities in kidneys were seen between groups that received the same total dose of fluconazole in one, two, or four equally divided doses. Thus, dose-fractionation studies demonstrated that the pharmacodynamic parameter of fluconazole that best predicted outcome was the AUC/MIC ratio.
PMCID: PMC105753  PMID: 9593135
15.  Pharmacodynamic Analysis of a Serine Protease Inhibitor, MK-4519, against Hepatitis C Virus Using a Novel In Vitro Pharmacodynamic System 
The development of new antiviral compounds active against hepatitis C virus (HCV) has surged in recent years. In order for these new compounds to be efficacious in humans, optimal dosage regimens for each compound must be elucidated. We have developed a novel in vitro pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic system, the BelloCell system, to identify optimal dosage regimens for anti-HCV compounds. In these experiments, genotype 1b HCV replicon-bearing cells (2209-23 cells) were inoculated onto carrier flakes in BelloCell bottles and treated with MK-4519, a serine protease inhibitor. Our dose-ranging studies illustrated that MK-4519 inhibited replicon replication in a dose-dependent manner, yielding a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of 1.8 nM. Dose-fractionation studies showed that shorter dosing intervals resulted in greater replicon suppression, indicating that the time that the concentration is greater than the EC50 is the pharmacodynamic parameter for MK-4519 linked with inhibition of replicon replication. Mutations associated with resistance to serine protease inhibitors were detected in replicons harvested from all treatment arms. These data suggest that MK-4519 is highly active against genotype 1b HCV, but monotherapy is not sufficient to prevent the amplification of resistant replicons. In summary, our findings show that the BelloCell system is a useful and clinically relevant tool for predicting optimal dosage regimens for anti-HCV compounds.
PMCID: PMC3294889  PMID: 22155837
16.  Impact of Spores on the Comparative Efficacies of Five Antibiotics for Treatment of Bacillus anthracis in an In Vitro Hollow Fiber Pharmacodynamic Model 
Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, is an agent of bioterrorism. The most effective antimicrobial therapy for B. anthracis infections is unknown. An in vitro pharmacodynamic model of B. anthracis was used to compare the efficacies of simulated clinically prescribed regimens of moxifloxacin, linezolid, and meropenem with the “gold standards,” doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. Treatment outcomes for isogenic spore-forming and non-spore-forming strains of B. anthracis were compared. Against spore-forming B. anthracis, ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, linezolid, and meropenem reduced the B. anthracis population by 4 log10 CFU/ml over 10 days. Doxycycline reduced the population of this B. anthracis strain by 5 log10 CFU/ml (analysis of variance [ANOVA] P = 0.01 versus other drugs). Against an isogenic non-spore-forming strain, meropenem killed the vegetative B. anthracis the fastest, followed by moxifloxacin and ciprofloxacin and then doxycycline. Linezolid offered the lowest bacterial kill rate. Heat shock studies using the spore-producing B. anthracis strain showed that with moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and meropenem therapies the total population was mostly spores, while the population was primarily vegetative bacteria with linezolid and doxycycline therapies. Spores have a profound impact on the rate and extent of killing of B. anthracis. Against spore-forming B. anthracis, the five antibiotics killed the total (spore and vegetative) bacterial population at similar rates (within 1 log10 CFU/ml of each other). However, bactericidal antibiotics killed vegetative B. anthracis faster than bacteriostatic drugs. Since only vegetative-phase B. anthracis produces the toxins that may kill the infected host, the rate and mechanism of killing of an antibiotic may determine its overall in vivo efficacy. Further studies are needed to examine this important observation.
PMCID: PMC3294912  PMID: 22155821
17.  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
18.  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
19.  Resistance Emergence Mechanism and Mechanism of Resistance Suppression by Tobramycin for Cefepime for Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
The panoply of resistance mechanisms in Pseudomonas aeruginosa makes resistance suppression difficult. Defining optimal regimens is critical. Cefepime is a cephalosporin whose 3′ side chain provides some stability against AmpC β-lactamases. We examined the activity of cefepime against P. aeruginosa wild-type strain PAO1 and its isogenic AmpC stably derepressed mutant in our hollow-fiber infection model. Dose-ranging studies demonstrated complete failure with resistance emergence (both isolates). Inoculum range studies demonstrated ultimate failure for all inocula. Lower inocula failed last (10 days to 2 weeks). Addition of a β-lactamase inhibitor suppressed resistance even with the stably derepressed isolate. Tobramycin combination studies demonstrated resistance suppression in both the wild-type and the stably derepressed isolates. Quantitating the RNA message by quantitative PCR demonstrated that tobramycin decreased the message relative to that in cefepime-alone experiments. Western blotting with AmpC-specific antibody for P. aeruginosa demonstrated decreased expression. We concluded that suppression of β-lactamase expression by tobramycin (a protein synthesis inhibitor) was at least part of the mechanism behind resistance suppression. Monte Carlo simulation demonstrated that a regimen of 2 g of cefepime every 8 h plus 7 mg/kg of body weight of tobramycin daily would provide robust resistance suppression for Pseudomonas isolates with cefepime MIC values up to 8 mg/liter and tobramycin MIC values up to 1 mg/liter. For P. aeruginosa resistance suppression, combination therapy is critical.
PMCID: PMC3256024  PMID: 22005996
20.  Pharmacodynamics of β-Lactamase Inhibition by NXL104 in Combination with Ceftaroline: Examining Organisms with Multiple Types of β-Lactamases 
New broad-spectrum β-lactamases such as KPC enzymes and CTX-M-15 enzymes threaten to markedly reduce the utility of our armamentarium of β-lactam agents, even our most potent drugs, such as carbapenems. NXL104 is a broad-spectrum non-β-lactam β-lactamase inhibitor. In this evaluation, we examined organisms carrying defined β-lactamases and identified doses and schedules of NXL104 in combination with the new cephalosporin ceftaroline, which would maintain good bacterial cell kill and suppress resistance emergence for a clinically relevant period of 10 days in our hollow-fiber infection model. We examined three strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae and one isolate of Enterobacter cloacae. K. pneumoniae 27-908M carried KPC-2, SHV-27, and TEM-1 β-lactamases. Its isogenic mutant, K. pneumoniae 4207J, was “cured” of the plasmid expressing the KPC-2 enzyme. K. pneumoniae 24-1318A carried a CTX-M-15 enzyme, and E. cloacae 2-77C expressed a stably derepressed AmpC chromosomal β-lactamase. Dose-ranging experiments for NXL104 administered as a continuous infusion with ceftaroline at 600 mg every 8 h allowed identification of a 24-h area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) for NXL104 that mediated bactericidal activity and resistance suppression. Dose fractionation experiments identified that “time > threshold” was the pharmacodynamic index linked to cell kill and resistance suppression. Given these results, we conclude that NXL104 combined with ceftaroline on an 8-hourly administration schedule would be optimal for circumstances in which highly resistant pathogens are likely to be encountered. This combination dosing regimen should allow for optimal bacterial cell kill (highest likelihood of successful clinical outcome) and the suppression of resistance emergence.
PMCID: PMC3256033  PMID: 22024819
21.  Dose Range Evaluation of Mycograb C28Y Variant, a Human Recombinant Antibody Fragment to Heat Shock Protein 90, in Combination with Amphotericin B-Desoxycholate for Treatment of Murine Systemic Candidiasis ▿ 
Systemic candidiasis causes significant mortality in patients despite amphotericin B (AMB) therapy. Mycograb C28Y variant, a human recombinant antibody fragment to heat shock protein 90, is closely related to Mycograb, which showed a survival advantage in combination with AMB in a phase III human trial. The Mycograb C28Y variant could potentially increase the antifungal effect of AMB. In our study, the interaction between AMB-desoxycholate (DAMB) and the Mycograb C28Y variant was characterized in vitro by using a checkerboard method. Quantitative cultures of kidneys, livers, and spleens of neutropenic mice with systemic Candida albicans infections were used to assess the in vivo interaction between 1.4 mg/kg of body weight/day of DAMB and 0.15, 1.5, and 15 mg/kg/day of the Mycograb C28Y variant after 1, 3, and 5 days of therapy. DAMB and Mycograb C28Y variant monotherapies, vehicle, and a no-treatment arm served as controls. Also, single- and multidose pharmacokinetics for the Mycograb C28Y variant were determined. Indifference or synergy between DAMB and the Mycograb C28Y variant was seen in two trials by the checkerboard method. The pharmacokinetics of the Mycograb C28Y variant was best described by a 2-compartment model with a median serum t1/2α of ∼0.198 h and a t1/2β of ∼1.77 h. In mice, DAMB together with the Mycograb C28Y variant was no more effective than AMB alone (P > 0.05 by analysis of variance). The Mycograb C28Y variant alone had no antifungal activity. We therefore conclude that the Mycograb C28Y variant in combination with DAMB offered no benefit over DAMB monotherapy in a neutropenic murine model of systemic candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC3122395  PMID: 21502626
22.  In Vivo Pharmacodynamics of Torezolid Phosphate (TR-701), a New Oxazolidinone Antibiotic, against Methicillin-Susceptible and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strains in a Mouse Thigh Infection Model ▿ 
Torezolid phosphate (TR-701) is the phosphate monoester prodrug of the oxazolidinone TR-700 which demonstrates potent in vitro activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The pharmacodynamics of TR-701 or TR-700 (TR-701/700) against S. aureus is incompletely defined. Single-dose pharmacokinetic studies were conducted in mice for TR-701/700. Forty-eight-hour dose range and 24-hour dose fractionation studies were conducted in a neutropenic mouse thigh model of S. aureus infection using MRSA ATCC 33591 to identify the dose and schedule of administration of TR-701/700 that was linked with optimized antimicrobial effect. Additional dose range studies compared the efficacies of TR-701/700 and linezolid for one MSSA strain and one community-associated MRSA strain. In dose range studies, TR-701/700 was equally bactericidal against MSSA and MRSA. Mean doses of 37.6 and 66.9 mg/kg of body weight/day of TR-701/700 resulted in stasis and 1 log CFU/g decreases in bacterial densities, respectively, at 24 h, and mean doses of 35.3, 46.6, and 71.1 mg/kg/day resulted in stasis and 1 and 2 log CFU/g reductions, respectively, at 48 h. Linezolid administered at doses as high as 150 mg/kg/day did not achieve stasis at either time point. Dose fractionation studies demonstrated that the area under the concentration-time curve over 24 h in the steady state divided by the MIC (AUC/MIC ratio) was the pharmacodynamic index for TR-701/700 that was linked with efficacy. TR-701/700 was highly active against MSSA and MRSA, in vivo, and was substantially more efficacious than linezolid, although linezolid's top exposure has half the human exposure. Dose fractionation studies showed that AUC/MIC was the pharmacodynamic index linked with efficacy, indicating that once-daily dosing in humans is feasible.
PMCID: PMC3122459  PMID: 21502615
23.  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
24.  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
25.  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

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