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1.  Mechanisms Accounting for Fluoroquinolone Resistance in Escherichia coli Clinical Isolates▿  
Fluoroquinolone MICs are increased through the acquisition of chromosomal mutations in the genes encoding gyrase (gyrA and gyrB) and topoisomerase IV (parC and parE), increased levels of the multidrug efflux pump AcrAB, and the plasmid-borne genes aac(6′)-Ib-cr and the qnr variants in Escherichia coli. In the accompanying report, we found that ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, and norfloxacin MICs for fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli clinical isolates were very high and widely varied (L. Becnel Boyd, M. J. Maynard, S. K. Morgan-Linnell, L. B. Horton, R. Sucgang, R. J. Hamill, J. Rojo Jimenez, J. Versalovic, D. Steffen, and L. Zechiedrich, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 53:229-234, 2009). Here, we sequenced gyrA, gyrB, parC, and parE; screened for aac(6′)-Ib-cr and qnrA; and quantified AcrA levels in E. coli isolates for which patient sex, age, location, and site of infection were known. We found that (i) all fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates had gyrA mutations; (ii) ∼85% of gyrA mutants also had parC mutations; (iii) the ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin MICs for isolates harboring aac(6′)-Ib-cr (∼23%) were significantly higher, but the gatifloxacin and levofloxacin MICs were not; (iv) no isolate had qnrA; and (v) ∼33% of the fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates had increased AcrA levels. Increased AcrA correlated with nonsusceptibility to the fluoroquinolones but did not correlate with nonsusceptibility to any other antimicrobial agents reported from hospital antibiograms. Known mechanisms accounted for the fluoroquinolone MICs of 50 to 70% of the isolates; the remaining included isolates for which the MICs were up to 1,500-fold higher than expected. Thus, additional, unknown fluoroquinolone resistance mechanisms must be present in some clinical isolates.
PMCID: PMC2612180  PMID: 18838592
2.  Restoration of Susceptibility of Intracellular Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus to β-Lactams: Comparison of Strains, Cells, and Antibiotics▿ †  
Staphylococcus aureus invades eukaryotic cells. When methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) ATCC 33591 is phagocytized by human THP-1 macrophages, complete restoration of susceptibility to cloxacillin and meropenem is shown and the strain becomes indistinguishable from MSSA ATCC 25923 due to the acid pH prevailing in phagolysosomes (S. Lemaire et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 51:1627-1632, 2007). We examined whether this observation can be extended to (i) strains of current clinical and epidemiological interest (three hospital-acquired MRSA [HA-MRSA] strains, two community-acquired MRSA [CA-MRSA] strains, two HA-MRSA strains with the vancomycin-intermediate phenotype, one HA-MRSA strain with the vancomycin-resistant phenotype, and one animal [porcine] MRSA strain), (ii) activated THP-1 cells and nonprofessional phagocytes (keratinocytes, Calu-3 bronchial epithelial cells), and (iii) other β-lactams (imipenem, oxacillin, cefuroxime, cefepime). All strains showed (i) a marked reduction in MICs in broth at pH 5.5 compared with the MIC at pH 7.4 and (ii) sigmoidal dose-response curves with cloxacillin (0.01× to 100× MIC, 24 h of incubation) after phagocytosis by THP-1 macrophages that were indistinguishable from each other and from the dose-response curve for methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) ATCC 25923 (relative potency [50% effect], 6.09× MIC [95% confidence interval {CI}, 4.50 to 8.25]; relative efficacy [change in bacterial counts over the original inoculum for an infinitely large cloxacillin concentration, or maximal effect], −0.69 log CFU [95% CI, −0.79 to −0.58]). Similar dose-response curves for cloxacillin were also observed with MSSA ATCC 25923 and MRSA ATCC 33591 after phagocytosis by activated THP-1 macrophages, keratinocytes, and Calu-3 cells. By contrast, there was a lower level of restoration of susceptibility of MRSA ATCC 33591 to cefuroxime and cefepime after phagocytosis by THP-1 macrophages, even when the data were normalized for differences in MICs. We conclude that the restoration of MRSA susceptibility to β-lactams after phagocytosis is independent of the strain and the types of cells but varies between β-lactams.
PMCID: PMC2493141  PMID: 18519727
3.  Production of Enterocins L50A, L50B, and IT, a New Enterocin, by Enterococcus faecium IT62, a Strain Isolated from Italian Ryegrass in Japan▿  
Enterococcus faecium IT62, isolated from ryegrass in Japan, was shown to produce three different bacteriocins, two of which had molecular masses and amino acid sequences that corresponded to those of enterocin L50A and enterocin L50B. These peptides existed, however, as chemically modified forms that were either N formylated or N formylated and oxidized at Met24. The third bacteriocin, named enterocin IT, had a molecular mass of 6,390 Da, was made up of 54 amino acids, and did not correspond to any known bacteriocin. However, enterocin IT was identical to the C-terminal part of the 16-amino-acid-longer bacteriocin 32 (T. Inoue, H. Tomita, and Y. Ike, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 50:1202-1212, 2006). For the first time, the antimicrobial activity spectra for enterocins L50A and L50B were determined separately and included a wide range of gram-positive bacteria but also a few gram-negative strains that were weakly sensitive. Slight differences in the activities of enterocins L50A and L50B were observed, as gram-positive bacteria showed an overall higher level of sensitivity to L50A than to L50B, as opposed to gram-negative ones. Conversely, enterocin IT showed a very narrow antimicrobial spectrum that was limited to E. faecium strains, one strain of Bacillus subtilis, and one strain of Lactococcus lactis. This study showed that E. faecium IT62, a grass-borne strain, produces bacteriocins with very different activity features and structures that may be found in strains associated with food or those of clinical origin, which demonstrates that a particular enterocin structure may be widespread and not related to the producer's origin.
PMCID: PMC2415771  PMID: 18391036
4.  Drug-Regulated Expression of Plasmodium falciparum P-Glycoprotein Homologue 1: a Putative Role for Nuclear Receptors▿  
Acquired resistance to therapeutic agents is a major clinical concern in the prevention/treatment of malaria. The parasite has developed resistance to specific drugs through two mechanisms: mutations in target proteins such as dihydrofolate reductase and the bc1 complex for antifolates and nathoquinones, respectively, and alterations in predicted parasite transporter molecules such as P-glycoprotein homologue 1 (Pgh1) and Plasmodium falciparum CRT (PfCRT). Alterations in the expression of Pgh1 have been associated with modified susceptibility to a range of unrelated drugs. The molecular mechanism(s) that is responsible for this phenotype is unknown. We have shown previously (A. M. Ndifor, R. E. Howells, P. G. Bray, J. L. Ngu, and S. A. Ward, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 37:1318-1323, 2003) that the anticonvulsant phenobarbitone (PB) can induce reduced susceptibility to chloroquine (CQ) in P. falciparum, and in the current study, we provide the first evidence for a molecular mechanism underlying this phenomenon. We demonstrate that pretreatment with PB can elicit decreased susceptibility to CQ in both CQ-resistant and CQ-sensitive parasite lines and that this is associated with the increased expression of the drug transporter Pgh1 but not PfCRT. Furthermore, we have investigated the proximal promoter regions from both pfmdr1 and pfcrt and identified a number of putative binding sites for nuclear receptors with sequence similarities to regions known to be activated by PB in mammals. Whole-genome analysis has revealed a putative nuclear receptor gene, providing the first evidence that nuclear receptor-mediated responses to drug exposure may be a mechanism of gene regulation in P. falciparum.
PMCID: PMC2292565  PMID: 18195056
5.  Lung Microdialysis Study of Levofloxacin in Rats following Intravenous Infusion at Steady State▿  
Lung microdialysis has been used with rats to investigate antibiotic distribution after single-dose administration. However, conducting such experiments after intravenous infusion at steady state would constitute a more convenient alternative, which was evaluated here, using levofloxacin (LVX) as a test compound. Microdialysis probes were inserted in blood and muscle, used as a comparator, between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Intravenous LVX infusion was started 6 h later and maintained until the end of the experiment at a rate of 1.0 mg·h−1. Lung microdialysis probes were inserted on the morning of the next day. Rats were kept anesthetized during dialysate collection. In vivo probe recoveries were estimated by retrodialysis using a calibrator method, with ciprofloxacin (CIP) as the calibrator. LVX and CIP were analyzed in dialysates by high-performance liquid chromatography. The steady-state tissue-to-blood unbound-drug concentration ratios were 1.00 ± 0.15 in muscle tissues and 1.06 ± 0.40 in lungs, suggesting passive distribution of LVX in tissue. Although providing no information on rate of distribution, microdialysis investigations following drug infusion at steady state appear to be an interesting approach for characterization of antibiotic distribution in rat lungs.
PMCID: PMC2533480  PMID: 18591278
6.  Predictive Values of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Phenotype and Genotype and of Amprenavir and Lopinavir Inhibitory Quotients in Heavily Pretreated Patients on a Ritonavir-Boosted Dual-Protease-Inhibitor Regimen▿  
The inhibitory quotient (IQ) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitors (PIs), which is the ratio of drug concentration to viral susceptibility, is considered to be predictive of the virological response. We used several approaches to calculate the IQs of amprenavir and lopinavir in a subset of heavily pretreated patients participating in the French National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS) 104 trial and then compared their potentials for predicting changes in the plasma HIV RNA level. Thirty-seven patients were randomly assigned to receive either amprenavir (600 mg twice a day [BID]) or lopinavir (400 mg BID) plus ritonavir (100 or 200 mg BID) for 2 weeks before combining the two PIs. The 90% inhibitory concentration (IC90) was measured using a recombinant assay without or with additional human serum (IC90+serum). Total and unbound PI concentrations in plasma were measured. Univariate linear regression was used to estimate the relation between the change in viral load and the IC90 or IQ values. The amprenavir phenotypic IQ values were very similar when measured with the standard and protein binding-adjusted IC90s. No relationship was found between the viral load decline and the lopinavir IQ. During combination therapy, the amprenavir and lopinavir genotypic IQ values were predictive of the viral response at week 6 (P = 0.03). The number of protease mutations (<5 or ≥5) was related to the virological response throughout the study. These findings suggest that the combined genotypic IQ and the number of protease mutations are the best predictors of virological response. High amprenavir and lopinavir concentrations in these patients might explain why plasma concentrations and the phenotypic IQ have poor predictive value.
PMCID: PMC2346619  PMID: 18285478
7.  Lung microdialysis study of levofloxacin in rats following intravenous infusion at steady state 
A microdialysis distribution study of levofloxacin in the lung and muscle of rats was conducted from a single point determination after intravenous infusion at steady-state. This approach was presented as an interesting alternative to investigate antibiotics tissue distribution.
PMCID: PMC2533480  PMID: 18591278
8.  In Vitro Phenotypic Susceptibility of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 2 Clinical Isolates to Protease Inhibitors▿  
We determine phenotypic susceptibility of human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) isolates to amprenavir, atazanavir, darunavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, and tipranavir. Saquinavir, lopinavir, and darunavir are potent against wild-type HIV-2 isolates and should be preferred as first-line options for HIV-2-infected patients. Other protease inhibitors are less active against HIV-2 than against HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC2292533  PMID: 18227188
9.  Predictive values of the human immunodeficiency virus phenotype and genotype and of amprenavir and lopinavir inhibitory quotients in heavily pretreated patients on a ritonavir-boosted dual-protease-inhibitor regimen 
The inhibitory quotient (IQ) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitors (PI) that is the ratio of drug concentration to viral susceptibility is considered to be predictive of the virological response. We used several approaches to calculate the IQs of amprenavir and lopinavir in a subset of heavily pretreated patients participating in the ANRS-104 trial, then compared their potential for predicting changes in the plasma HIV-RNA level. Thirty-seven patients were randomly assigned to receive either amprenavir (600mg BID) or lopinavir (400mg BID) plus ritonavir (100 or 200mg BID) for two weeks, before combining the two PIs. The IC90 was measured using a recombinant assay with or without additional human serum (IC90+serum). Total and unbound PIs concentrations in plasma were measured. Univariate linear regression was used to estimate the relation between the change in viral load and the IC90 or IQ values. The amprenavir phenotypic IQ values were very similar when measured with the standard and protein binding-adjusted IC90. No relationship was found between the viral load decline and the lopinavir IQ. During combination therapy the amprenavir and lopinavir genotypic IQ values were predictive of the viral response at week 6 (p=0.03). The number of protease mutations (< or ≥ 5) was related to the virological response throughout the study. These findings suggest that the combined genotypic IQ and the number of protease mutations are the best predictors of virological response. High amprenavir and lopinavir concentrations in these patients might explain why plasma concentrations and the phenotypic IQ have poor predictive value.
PMCID: PMC2346619  PMID: 18285478
10.  In Vitro Phenotypic Susceptibility of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 2 Clinical Isolates to Protease Inhibitors 
We determine phenotypic susceptibility of HIV-2 isolates to amprenavir, atazanavir, darunavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir and tipranavir. Saquinavir, lopinavir and darunavir are potent on wild-type HIV-2 isolates and should be preferred as first-line options for HIV-2- infected patients. Other protease inhibitors are less active on HIV-2 than on HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC2292533  PMID: 18227188
11.  Roles of NF-κB Activation and Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Inhibition in the Effect of Rifampin on Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Transcription in Human Lung Epithelial Cells▿  
Rifampin (rifampicin), an important antibiotic agent and a major drug used for the treatment of tuberculosis, exerts immunomodulatory effects. Previous studies have found that rifampin increases inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS) expression and NO production. The present study investigated the potential mechanism(s) underlying these actions. The incubation of human lung epithelial A549 cells with a cytokine mix (interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and gamma interferon) induced the expression of iNOS mRNA. The addition of rifampin increased the iNOS level by 1.9 ± 0.3-fold at a dose of 10 μg/ml (P < 0.01) and by 4.0 ± 0.3-fold at a dose of 50 μg/ml (P < 0.001). Rifampin treatment also affected the transcription factors that regulate iNOS mRNA: there was an increased and prolonged degradation of the inhibitory subunit of NF-κB, a corresponding increase in the level of cytokine-induced DNA binding of NF-κB (2.1 ± 0.2-fold), and a decrease in the level of expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). Specifically, the level of PPARγ expression dropped by 15% in response to cytokine stimulation and by an additional 40% when rifampin was added (P < 0.001). Rifampin had no effect on the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases or the signal transducer and transcription activator (STAT-1). In conclusion, rifampin augments NO production by upregulating iNOS mRNA. It also increases the level of NF-κB activation and decreases the level of PPARγ expression. The increases in the levels of NF-κB activation and NO production probably contribute to the therapeutic effects of rifampin. However, given the role of NF-κB in upregulating many inflammatory genes and the roles of PPARγ in downregulating inflammatory genes and in lipid and glucose metabolism, these findings have implications for potential adverse effects of rifampin in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases and glucose or lipid disorders.
PMCID: PMC2663117  PMID: 19114679
12.  Promising Antituberculosis Activity of the Oxazolidinone PNU-100480 Relative to That of Linezolid in a Murine Model▿  
Oxazolidinone antibiotics have activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Linezolid, the only marketed oxazolidinone, has been used off-label in combination regimens to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, but its precise contribution to the efficacy of such combinations is unclear. Another oxazolidinone, PNU-100480, has been demonstrated to have more potent activity in vitro and in a murine model of tuberculosis. In this study, we compared the pharmacokinetics and the antituberculosis activities of these two oxazolidinones over a range of doses and found that linezolid has limited activity at clinically relevant doses in the murine model compared to that of PNU-100480, which has potent bactericidal activity, even at lower drug exposures. These findings were unexpected, given the similar in vitro activities of PNU-100480, its major metabolites, and linezolid. Moreover, the incorporation of PNU-100480 dramatically improved the bactericidal activities of regimens containing current first-line antituberculosis drugs and moxifloxacin. For example, the addition of PNU-100480 (100 mg/kg of body weight/day) to the standard daily regimen of rifampin (rifampicin), isoniazid, and pyrazinamide resulted in an additional 2.0-log10-unit reduction in lung CFU counts during the first 2 months of treatment. The combination of PNU-100480, moxifloxacin, and pyrazinamide, which does not contain either rifampin or isoniazid, was also more active than rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide. These results suggest that PNU-100480 may have the potential to significantly shorten the duration of therapy for drug-susceptible as well as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC2663111  PMID: 19075058
13.  Pharmacokinetics and Safety of Caspofungin in Older Infants and Toddlers ▿  
Although information about the efficacy and safety experience with caspofungin at 50 mg/m2 daily is available for children and adolescents, the dosing regimen in infants and toddlers 3 to 24 months of age has yet to be established. We studied the pharmacokinetics and safety of caspofungin at 50 mg/m2 once daily in nine patients 10 to 22 months (median, 13 months) of age with fever and neutropenia who received caspofungin once daily for 2 to 21 (mean, 9.3) days. Plasma caspofungin concentrations were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography assay on days 1 and 4. On day 4, the area under the curve from 0 to 24 h (AUC0-24) was 130.3 μg-h/ml, the peak concentration (C1) was 17.2 μg/ml, and the trough concentration (C24) was 1.6 μg/ml. The day 4 geometric mean ratios (GMRs) and 90% confidence interval (CI) for these parameters in infants/toddlers relative to adults were 1.26 (1.06, 1.50), 1.83 (1.57, 2.14), and 0.81 (0.64, 1.04), respectively. Relative to children (2 to 11 years of age), the day 4 GMRs (and 90% CI) were 1.13 (0.89, 1.44), 1.10 (0.85, 1.42), and 1.12 (0.72, 1.76), respectively. The harmonic mean elimination phase t1/2 in infants/toddlers (8.8 h) was reduced ∼33% relative to adults (13.0 h) but was similar to that in children (8.2 h). Clinical adverse events occurred in seven patients (78%); none were considered drug related. Laboratory adverse events occurred in five patients (56%) and were considered drug related in three (33%). There were no infusion-related events or discontinuations due to toxicity. Caspofungin at 50 mg/m2 daily was well tolerated in infants and toddlers; the AUC and caspofungin C24 were generally comparable to those in adults receiving caspofungin at 50 mg daily.
PMCID: PMC2663098  PMID: 19114680
14.  Mode of Action of Ranbezolid against Staphylococci and Structural Modeling Studies of Its Interaction with Ribosomes▿  
Oxazolidinones are known to inhibit protein biosynthesis and act against a wide spectrum of gram-positive bacteria. A new investigational oxazolidinone, ranbezolid, inhibited bacterial protein synthesis in Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. In S. epidermidis, ranbezolid showed inhibition of cell wall and lipid synthesis and a dose-dependent effect on membrane integrity. A kill-kinetics study showed that ranbezolid was bactericidal against S. epidermidis. In vitro translation of the luciferase gene done using bacterial and mammalian ribosomes indicated that ranbezolid specifically inhibited the bacterial ribosome. Molecular modeling studies revealed that both linezolid and ranbezolid fit in similar manners the active site of ribosomes, with total scores, i.e., theoretical binding affinities after consensus, of 5.2 and 6.9, respectively. The nitrofuran ring in ranbezolid is extended toward C2507, G2583, and U2584, and the nitro group forms a hydrogen bond from the base of G2583. The interaction of ranbezolid with the bacterial ribosomes clearly helps to elucidate its potent activity against the target pathogen.
PMCID: PMC2663096  PMID: 19075051
15.  Pharmacokinetics and Absorption of Posaconazole Oral Suspension under Various Gastric Conditions in Healthy Volunteers ▿  
A four-part, randomized, crossover study with healthy subjects evaluated the effects of gastric pH, the dosing frequency and prandial state, food consumption timing, and gastric motility on the absorption of posaconazole. In part 1, a single dose (SD) of posaconazole (400 mg) was administered alone or with an acidic beverage or a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), or both. In part 2, posaconazole (400 mg twice daily and 200 mg four times daily) was administered for 7 days with and without a nutritional supplement (Boost). In part 3, an SD of posaconazole (400 mg) was administered while the subjects were fasting and before, during, and after a high-fat meal. In part 4, an SD of posaconazole (400 mg) and the nutritional supplement were administered alone, with metoclopramide, and with loperamide. Compared to the results obtained with posaconazole alone, administration with an acidic beverage increased the posaconazole maximum concentration in plasma (Cmax) and the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) by 92% and 70%, respectively, whereas a higher gastric pH decreased the posaconazole Cmax and AUC by 46% and 32%, respectively. Compared to the results obtained with posaconazole alone, posaconazole at 400 mg or at 200 mg plus the nutritional supplement increased the posaconazole Cmax and AUC by 65% and 66%, respectively, and by up to 137% and 161%, respectively. Administration before a high-fat meal increased the Cmax and the AUC by 96% and 111%, respectively, while administration during and after the meal increased the Cmax and the AUC by up to 339% and 387%, respectively. Increased gastric motility decreased the Cmax and the AUC by 21% and 19%, respectively. Strategies to maximize posaconazole exposure in patients with absorption difficulties include administration with or after a high-fat meal, with any meal or nutritional supplement, with an acidic beverage, or in divided doses and the avoidance of proton pump inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC2650585  PMID: 19075045
16.  In Vivo and In Vitro Efficacy of Amodiaquine Monotherapy for Treatment of Infection by Chloroquine-Resistant Plasmodium vivax▿  
Amodiaquine retains efficacy against infection by chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum; however, little information is available on its efficacy against infection by chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium vivax. Patients presenting to a rural clinic with a pure P. vivax infection that recurred after recent antimalarial treatment were retreated, this time with amodiaquine monotherapy, and the risk of further recurrence within 4 weeks was assessed. Of the 87 patients with pure P. vivax infection, 15 patients did not complete a full course of treatment, 4 of whom were intolerant to treatment. In the 72 patients completing treatment, 91% (63 of 69) had cleared their parasitemia within 48 h with no early treatment failure. Follow-up to day 28 or recurrent parasitemia was achieved for 56 patients (78%). The cumulative incidence of treatment failure by day 28 was 22.8% (95% confidence interval, 7.3 to 38%). The in vitro sensitivity profile was determined for a separate set of isolates from outpatients with pure P. vivax infection. The median 50% inhibitory concentration of amodiaquine was 11.3 nM (range, 0.37 to 95.8) and was correlated significantly with that of chloroquine (Spearman rank correlation coefficient, 0.602; P < 0.001) Although amodiaquine results in a rapid clinical response, the risk of recurrence by day 28 is unacceptably high, reducing its suitability as an alternative treatment of infection by chloroquine-resistant P. vivax in this region.
PMCID: PMC2650584  PMID: 19104023
17.  Identification, Characterization, and Azole-Binding Properties of Mycobacterium smegmatis CYP164A2, a Homolog of ML2088, the Sole Cytochrome P450 Gene of Mycobacterium leprae▿  
The genome sequence of Mycobacterium leprae revealed a single open reading frame, ML2088 (CYP164A1), encoding a putative full-length cytochrome P450 monooxygenase and 12 pseudogenes. We have identified a homolog of ML2088 in Mycobacterium smegmatis and report here the cloning, expression, purification, and azole-binding characteristics of this cytochrome P450 (CYP164A2). CYP164A2 is 1,245 bp long and encodes a protein of 414 amino acids and molecular mass of 45 kDa. CYP164A2 has 60% identity with Mycobacterium leprae CYP161A1 and 66 to 69% identity with eight other mycobacterial CYP164A1 homologs, with three identified highly conserved motifs. Recombinant CYP164A2 has the typical spectral characteristics of a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, predominantly in the ferric low-spin state. Unusually, the spin state was readily modulated by increasing ionic strength at pH 7.5, with 50% high-spin occupancy achieved with 0.14 M NaCl. CYP164A2 bound clotrimazole, econazole, and miconazole strongly (Kd, 1.2 to 2.5 μM); however, strong binding with itraconazole, ketoconazole, and voriconazole was only observed in the presence of 0.5 M NaCl. Fluconazole did not bind to CYP164A2 at pH 7.5 and no discernible type II binding spectrum was observed.
PMCID: PMC2650583  PMID: 19075057
18.  Bronchopulmonary Disposition of Micafungin in Healthy Adult Volunteers▿  
By way of bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage, intrapulmonary steady-state concentrations of micafungin administered at 150 mg daily to 15 healthy volunteers were determined at 4, 12, and 24 h after the third dose. The micafungin disposition was predominantly intracellular, with approximately 106% penetration into alveolar macrophages and 5% penetration into epithelial lining fluid.
PMCID: PMC2650581  PMID: 19114675
19.  A 10-Year Survey of Antifungal Susceptibility of Candidemia Isolates from Intensive Care Unit Patients in Greece▿  
This study retrospectively reviews the susceptibility of 135 baseline ICU candidemia isolates (from 1997 to 2007) to nine antifungals as determined by the AFST-EUCAST microdilution method and identifies the most frequent causative agents of confirmed point-source candidemia outbreaks in local intensive care units. A minority of common and rare Candida species displayed decreased susceptibility to all antifungals.
PMCID: PMC2650580  PMID: 19114672
20.  The Host Defense Peptide LL-37 Selectively Permeabilizes Apoptotic Leukocytes▿  
LL-37 is a cationic host defense peptide that is highly expressed during acute inflammation and that kills bacteria by poorly defined mechanisms, resulting in permeabilization of microbial membranes. High concentrations of LL-37 have also been reported to have cytotoxic effects against eukaryotic cells, but the peptide is clearly capable of differentiating between membranes with different compositions (eukaryotic versus bacterial membranes). Eukaryotic cells such as leukocytes change their membrane composition during apoptotic cell death, when they are turned into nonfunctional but structurally intact entities. We tested whether LL-37 exerted specific activity on apoptotic cells and found that the peptide selectively permeabilized the membranes of apoptotic human leukocytes, leaving viable cells unaffected. This activity was seemingly analogous to the direct microbicidal effect of LL-37, in that it was rapid, independent of known surface receptors and/or active cell signaling, and inhibitable by serum components such as high-density lipoprotein. A similar selective permeabilization of apoptotic cells was recorded for both NK cells and neutrophils. In the latter cell type, LL-37 permeabilized both the plasma and granule membranes, resulting in the release of both lactate dehydrogenase and myeloperoxidase. Apoptosis is a way for inflammatory cells to die silently and minimize collateral tissue damage by retaining tissue-damaging and proinflammatory substances within intact membranes. Permeabilization of apoptotic leukocytes by LL-37, accompanied by the leakage of cytoplasmic as well as intragranular molecules, may thus shift the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory signals and in this way be of importance for the termination of acute inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2650579  PMID: 19075071
21.  Efficient Neutralization of Antibody-Resistant Forms of Anthrax Toxin by a Soluble Receptor Decoy Inhibitor▿  
A soluble receptor decoy inhibitor (RDI), comprised of the extracellular I domain of ANTXR2, is a candidate anthrax therapeutic. Here we show that RDI can effectively neutralize altered forms of the protective antigen toxin subunit that are resistant to 14B7 monoclonal antibody neutralization. These data highlight the potential of RDI to act as an adjunct to existing antibody-based therapies and indicate that inhibitors based on RDI might be useful as a stand-alone treatment against specifically engineered strains of Bacillus anthracis.
PMCID: PMC2650577  PMID: 19075066
22.  Breakthrough Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans Double Infection during Caspofungin Treatment: Laboratory Characteristics and Implication for Susceptibility Testing▿  
Caspofungin is used for the treatment of acute invasive candidiasis and as salvage treatment for invasive aspergillosis. We report characteristics of isolates of Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus detected in a patient with breakthrough infection complicating severe gastrointestinal surgery and evaluate the capability of susceptibility methods to identify candin resistance. The susceptibility of C. albicans to caspofungin and anidulafungin was investigated by Etest, microdilution (European Committee on Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing [EUCAST] and CLSI), disk diffusion, agar dilution, and FKS1 sequencing and in a mouse model. Tissue was examined by immunohistochemistry, PCR, and sequencing for the presence of A. fumigatus and resistance mutations. The MICs for the C. albicans isolate were as follows: >32 μg/ml caspofungin and 0.5 μg/ml anidulafungin by Etest, 2 μg/ml caspofungin and 0.125 μg/ml anidulafungin by EUCAST methods, and 1 μg/ml caspofungin and 0.5 μg/ml anidulafungin by CLSI methods. Sequencing of the FKS1 gene revealed a mutation leading to an S645P substitution. Caspofungin and anidulafungin failed to reduce kidney CFU counts in animals inoculated with this isolate (P > 0.05 compared to untreated control animals), while both candins completely sterilized the kidneys in animals infected with a control isolate. Disk diffusion and agar dilution methods clearly separated the two isolates. Immunohistochemistry and sequencing confirmed the presence of A. fumigatus without FSK1 resistance mutations in liver and lung tissues. Breakthrough disseminated aspergillosis and candidiasis developed despite an absence of characteristic FKS1 resistance mutations in the Aspergillus isolates. EUCAST and CLSI methodology did not separate the candin-resistant clinical isolate from the sensitive control isolate as well as did the Etest and agar methods.
PMCID: PMC2650576  PMID: 19104024
23.  Identification by Genomic and Genetic Analysis of Two New Genes Playing a Key Role in Intermediate Glycopeptide Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus▿  
Endogenous, low-level glycopeptide resistance in Staphylococcus aureus results from multifactorial genetic changes. Comparative genomic hybridization analysis revealed the specific deletion of a 1.8-kb segment encompassing two adjacent open reading frames (ORFs) of unknown function in a teicoplanin-susceptible revertant (strain 14-4rev) compared to the sequence of its isogenic, teicoplanin-resistant parental strain, strain 14-4. This provocative finding prompted us to perform a detailed genetic analysis of the contribution of this genomic segment to glycopeptide resistance. Despite repeated efforts in our laboratory, 14-4 and 14-4rev have proven refractory to most genetic manipulations. To circumvent this difficulty, we evaluated the contribution of both putative ORFs (designated teicoplanin resistance factors trfA and trfB) on teicoplanin resistance in a different, genetically tractable background. Genetic analysis showed that single or double trfA and/or trfB mutations abolished teicoplanin resistance in two independent teicoplanin-resistant derivatives of NCTC8325 strain ISP794 generated by two-step passages with the drug. The frequency of teicoplanin-resistant mutants was markedly decreased by the absence of trfAB in the teicoplanin-susceptible ISP794 background. Nevertheless, a low rate of teicoplanin-resistant mutants was selected from ISP794 trfAB, thus indicating an additional contribution of trfAB-independent pathways in the emergence of low-level glycopeptide resistance. Further experiments performed with clinical glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus isolate NRS3 indicated that the trfAB mutation could affect not only teicoplanin resistance but also vancomycin and oxacillin resistance. In conclusion, our study demonstrates the key role of two novel loci in endogenous, low-level glycopeptide resistance in S. aureus whose precise molecular functions warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2650575  PMID: 19104009
24.  CMY-31 and CMY-36 Cephalosporinases Encoded by ColE1-Like Plasmids▿  
Two CMY-2 derivatives, CMY-31 (Gln215→Arg) from Salmonella enterica serotype Newport and CMY-36 (Ala77→Cys and Gln193→Glu) from Klebsiella pneumoniae, were characterized. Both cephalosporinases functionally resembled CMY-2. blaCMY alleles occurred as parts of a putative transposon comprising ISEcp1B and a Citrobacter freundii-derived sequence carried by ColE1-like plasmids similar to CMY-5-encoding pTKH11 from Klebsiella oxytoca.
PMCID: PMC2650574  PMID: 19104021
25.  In Vitro and In Vivo Studies To Characterize the Clearance Mechanism and Potential Cytochrome P450 Interactions of Anidulafungin▿  
Anidulafungin is a novel semisynthetic echinocandin with potent activity against Candida (including azole-resistant isolates) and Aspergillus spp. and is used for serious systemic fungal infections. The purpose of these studies was to characterize the clearance mechanism and potential for drug interactions of anidulafungin. Experiments included in vitro degradation of anidulafungin in buffer and human plasma, a bioassay for antifungal activity, in vitro human cytochrome P450 inhibition studies, in vitro incubation with rat and human hepatocytes, and mass balance studies in rats and humans. Clearance of anidulafungin appeared to be primarily due to slow chemical degradation, with no evidence of hepatic-mediated metabolism (phase 1 or 2). Under physiological conditions, further degradation of the primary degradant appears to take place. The primary degradation product does not retain antifungal activity. Anidulafungin was not an inhibitor of cytochrome P450 enzymes commonly involved in drug metabolism. Mass balance studies showed that anidulafungin was eliminated in the feces predominantly as degradation products, with only a small fraction (10%) eliminated as unchanged drug; fecal elimination likely occurred via biliary excretion. Only negligible renal involvement in the drug's elimination was observed. In conclusion, the primary biotransformation of anidulafungin is mediated by slow chemical degradation, with no evidence for hepatic enzymatic metabolism or renal elimination.
PMCID: PMC2650573  PMID: 19029327

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