Previously, we reported the isolation of 10 vancomycin-resistant gram-positive anaerobic bacilli carrying the vanB ligase gene from nine hemodialysis patients (S. A. Ballard et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 49:77-81, 2005; T. P. Stinear et al., Lancet 357:855-856, 2001). In the present study, the molecular and evolutionary relationship of the vanB resistance element within these 10 anaerobes and two vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium strains were examined. PCR analysis and nucleotide sequencing demonstrated that all 12 isolates carried the vanB operon associated with an element identical to Tn1549 and Tn5382 of Enterococcus. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the vanB operon in these isolates revealed two distinct patterns, and sequencing showed that minor base differences existed. PCR amplification of the joint region of a circular intermediate was demonstrated in nine of these organisms, a finding indicative of an ability to excise and circularize, an intermediate step in transposition and conjugative transfer. Southern hybridization with a vanB-vanXB probe suggests that there is one insert of the transposon in all isolates. Sequence analysis of the integration site revealed distinct sequences: the Tn1549/5382 element within E. faecium was inserted within the host chromosome, whereas nucleotide sequences surrounding the Tn1549/5382 element in the 10 anaerobes showed no significant homology to sequences in the GenBank database. We demonstrate considerable similarity between the Tn1549/5382 element identified in 10 anaerobe isolates with that found in enterococci. The homology and potential to transpose suggest a recent horizontal transfer event may have occurred. However, the original direction of transposition and the mechanism involved remains unknown.
Macrolide resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae due to efflux has emerged as an important worldwide clinical problem over the past decade. Efflux is mediated by the genes of the genetic element mega (macrolide efflux genetic assembly) and related elements, such as Tn1207.1. These elements contain two adjacent genes, mef (mefE or mefA) and the closely related mel gene (msrA homolog), encoding a proton motive force pump and a putative ATP-binding cassette transporter homolog, and are transcribed as an operon (M. Del Grosso et al., J. Clin. Microbiol. 40:774-778, 2004; K. Gay and D. S. Stephens, J. Infect. Dis. 184:56-65, 2001; and M. Santagati et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 44:2585-2587, 2000). Previous studies have shown that Mef is required for macrolide resistance in S. pneumoniae; however, the contribution of Mel has not been fully determined. Independent deletions were constructed in mefE and mel in the serotype 14 macrolide-resistant strains GA16638 (erythromycin [Em] MIC, 8 to 16 μg/ml) and GA17719 (Em MIC, 2 to 4 μg/ml), which contain allelic variations in the mega element. The MICs to erythromycin were significantly reduced for the independent deletion mutants of both mefE and mel compared to those of the parent strains and further reduced threefold to fourfold to Em MICs of <0.15 μg/ml with mefE mel double mutants. Using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, the expression of mefE in the mel deletion mutants was increased more than 10-fold. However, in the mefE deletion mutants, the expression of mel did not differ significantly from the parent strains. The expression of both mefE and mel was inducible by erythromycin. These data indicate a requirement for both Mef and Mel in the novel efflux-mediated macrolide resistance system in S. pneumoniae and other gram-positive bacteria and that the system is inducible by macrolides.
Two clinical Candida albicans isolates that exhibited high-level resistance to azoles and modest decreases in susceptibility to amphotericin B were cultured from unrelated patients. Both isolates harbored homozygous nonsense mutations in ERG3, which encodes an enzyme, sterol Δ5,6-desaturase, involved in ergosterol synthesis. Extraction and analysis of the sterols from both isolates confirmed the absence of sterol Δ5,6-desaturase activity. Although the loss of sterol Δ5,6-desaturase activity is known to confer resistance to azoles, this mechanism of resistance has rarely been seen in clinical isolates, suggesting that such mutants are at a competitive disadvantage. To test this hypothesis, the virulence of the erg3 mutants was assayed by using a mouse systemic infection model. The mutants were significantly less virulent than the wild-type comparator strains. However, the kidney fungal burdens in mice infected with the erg3 mutants were similar to those in mice infected with the wild-type strains. Similar results were obtained by using a laboratory-generated homozygous erg3 deletion mutant (D. Sanglard et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 47:2404-2412, 2003). Reintroduction of a wild-type ERG3 allele into the homozygous deletion mutant restored virulence, ergosterol synthesis, and susceptibility to azoles, confirming that these phenotypic changes were solely due to the inactivation of Erg3p.
In a previous work, we described the possible relationship between a defect of purine-cytosine permease and the acquisition of a cross-resistance to the antifungal combination flucytosine (5FC) and fluconazole (FLC) in Candida lusitaniae (T. Noël, F. François, P. Paumard, C. Chastin, D. Brethes, and J. Villard, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 47:1275-1284, 2003). Using degenerate PCR and chromosome walking, we cloned two FCY2-like genes in C. lusitaniae. Northern blot analysis revealed that only one gene was expressed; it was named FCY2. The other one behaved as a pseudogene and was named FCY21. In order to better characterize the possible role of FCY2 in cross-resistance to 5FC-FLC, disruption experiments with auxotrophic strain 6936 ura3(D95V) FCY2 with an integrative vector carrying the URA3 gene and a partial sequence of the C. lusitaniae FCY2 gene were undertaken. Southern blot analysis revealed that homologous recombination events occurred in all transformants analyzed at rates of 50% at resident locus FCY2 and 50% at resident locus URA3, resulting in the genotypes ura3 fcy2::URA3 and ura3::URA3 FCY2, respectively. It was then demonstrated that only transformants harboring a disrupted fcy2 gene were resistant to 5FC, susceptible to FLC, and resistant to the 5FC-FLC combination. Finally, complementation experiments with a functional FCY2 gene restored 5FC and FLC susceptibilities to the wild-type levels. The results of this study provide molecular evidence that inactivation of the sole FCY2 gene promotes cross-resistance to the antifungal association 5FC-FLC in C. lusitaniae.
Ciprofloxacin is subject to efflux from J774 macrophages through a multidrug resistance-related protein-like transporter (J. M. Michot, F. Van Bambeke, M. P. Mingeot-Leclercq, and P. M. Tulkens, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 48:2673-2682, 2004). Here, we compare ciprofloxacin to levofloxacin, garenoxacin, and moxifloxacin for transport. At 4 mg/liter, an apparent steady state in accumulation was reached after 30 to 60 min for all quinolones but to quite different levels (approximately 3, 5, 10, and 16 fold). Accumulation of ciprofloxacin was increased (to about 16 to 20 fold) by ATP depletion, increase in extracellular concentration, and the addition of probenecid, gemfibrozil, or MK571 (but not verapamil or GF120918). These treatments did not affect the accumulation of moxifloxacin. Levofloxacin and garenoxacin showed an intermediate behavior. Efflux of ciprofloxacin was slowed down by probenecid (half-life, 7.2 versus 1.6 min). Moxifloxacin efflux was faster and unaffected by probenecid (half-lifes, 0.27 versus 0.33 min). Efflux of levofloxacin and garenoxacin was modestly decreased by probenecid (1.5 and 2.1 fold). Accumulation of 14C-labeled ciprofloxacin was increased by unlabeled ciprofloxacin and moxifloxacin, but moxifloxacin was two times less potent. Accumulation of moxifloxacin at 4°C was almost identical to that at 37°C, whereas that of ciprofloxacin was minimal (levofloxacin and garenoxacin showed intermediate behaviors). Cells subjected to thermal shock (56°C; 10 min) accumulated all quinolones at a similar level (16 to 23 fold). We conclude that moxifloxacin is apparently not subject to efflux from J774 macrophages, even though it can interact with the ciprofloxacin transporter. Levofloxacin and garenoxacin are partially effluxed. Data suggest that efflux plays an important role in the differential accumulation of quinolones by J774 macrophages.
Oritavancin, a semisynthetic derivative of vancomycin endowed with a cationic amphiphilic character, accumulates to large extent in the lysosomes of eukaryotic cells (F. Van Bambeke, S. Carryn, C. Seral, H. Chanteux, D. Tyteca, M. P. Mingeot-Leclercq, and P. M. Tulkens, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 48:2853-2860, 2004). In the present study, we examined whether this accumulation could cause cell alterations in phagocytic (J774 mouse macrophages) and nonphagocytic (rat embryo fibroblasts) cells exposed to clinically meaningful (0- to 40-mg/liter) concentrations of oritavancin. Optical and electronic microscopy evidenced conspicuous alterations of the vacuolar apparatus in both cell types, characterized by the deposition of concentric lamellar structures, finely granular material, or other less-defined osmiophilic material, often deposed in giant vesicles. Biochemical studies showed an accumulation of phospholipids (1.5× control values) and free and esterified cholesterol (3 to 4× control values for total cholesterol). Accumulation of these lipids was in close relation to that of oritavancin (excess phospholipid/oritavancin and excess cholesterol/oritavancin molar ratios of 2 to 3 and 3 to 5, respectively). Cholesterol accumulation was rapid and reversible, and that of phospholipids was slower and poorly reversible. Vancomycin and teicoplanin, used as controls (50 and 100 mg/liter, respectively), did not cause any significant change in the lipid content of fibroblasts. The data therefore suggest that oritavancin has the potential to cause a mixed-lipid storage disorder in eukaryotic cells.
The novel ribosome inhibitors (NRIs) are a broad-spectrum naphthyridine class that selectively inhibits bacterial protein synthesis (P. J. Dandliker et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 47:3831-3839, 2003). Footprinting experiments, using a range of NRIs and chemical modification agents on Escherichia coli ribosomes, revealed no evidence for direct protection of rRNA. In the presence of tRNA, however, we found that NRIs enhanced the known ribosomal footprinting pattern of tRNA in a dose-dependent manner. The most prominent increase in protection, at A1492/3 and A1413 in helix-44 of 16S RNA, strictly required the presence of tRNA and poly(U), and the effect was correlated with the potency of the inhibitor. Radioligand binding studies with inhibitor [3H]A-424902 showed that the compound binds to tRNA, either in its charged or uncharged form. The dissociation constant for [3H]A-424902 binding to Phe-tRNAPhe was determined to be 1.8 μM, near its translation inhibition potency of 1.6 μM in a cell-free S. pneumoniae extract assay. The compound did not change the binding of radiolabeled tRNA to the 30S ribosomal subunit. Taken together, these results imply that the NRIs exert their effects on protein synthesis by structurally perturbing the tRNA/30S complex at the decoding site.
The in vitro postantibiotic effects (PAEs), the postantibiotic sub-MIC effects (PA-SMEs), and the sub-MIC effects (SMEs) of DX-619 were determined for 16 gram-positive organisms. DX-619 pneumococcal, staphylococcal, and enterococcal PAE ranges were 1.7 to 5.0 h, 0.7 to 1.8 h, and 1.2 to 6.5 h, respectively. The PA-SME ranges (0.4× MIC) for pneumococci, staphylococci, and enterococci were 5.2 to >8.6 h, 2.1 to 8.3 h, and 4.9 to >10.0 h, respectively.
Icofungipen (formerly PLD-118) is a synthetic derivative of the naturally occurring β-amino acid cispentacin that blocks isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase, resulting in the inhibition of protein synthesis and growth of fungal cells. We investigated the efficacy, plasma pharmacokinetics, and safety of icofungipen in escalating dosages for the treatment of experimental subacute disseminated candidiasis in persistently neutropenic rabbits. Icofungipen was administered for 10 days starting 24 h after the intravenous inoculation of 103 Candida albicans blastoconidia. Study groups consisted of rabbits treated with icofungipen at 4 (ICO-4), 10 (ICO-10), and 25 (ICO-25) mg/kg of body weight/day in two divided dosages, rabbits treated with fluconazole at 10 mg/kg/day, rabbits treated with amphotericin B at 1 mg/kg/day, and untreated controls. Levels of icofungipen in plasma were derivatized by phthaldialdehyde and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Rabbits treated with ICO-10 (P < 0.01) and ICO-25 (P < 0.001) showed significant dosage-dependent tissue clearance of C. albicans from the liver, spleen, kidney, brain, vitreous, vena cava, and lung in comparison to untreated controls. ICO-25 cleared C. albicans from all tissues and had activity comparable to that of amphotericin B versus untreated controls (P < 0.001). Pharmacokinetics of icofungipen in plasma approximated a dose-dependent relationship of the maximum concentration of drug in serum and the area under the concentration-time curve. There was no significant elevation of the levels of hepatic transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, urea nitrogen, or creatinine in icofungipen-treated rabbits. Icofungipen followed dose-dependent pharmacokinetics and was effective in the treatment of experimental disseminated candidiasis, including central nervous system infection, in persistently neutropenic rabbits.
Thirteen derivatives of the Streptococcus pneumoniae TIGR4 strain in which putative drug efflux pumps were genetically inactivated were constructed and characterized. The results indicate that two linked genes encoding the ABC-type transporters SP2073 and SP2075 function together to confer intrinsic resistance to a series of structurally unrelated compounds, including certain fluoroquinolones.
The compound GW678248 is a novel benzophenone nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). Preclinical assessment of GW678248 indicates that this compound potently inhibits wild-type (WT) and mutant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase in biochemical assays, with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) between 0.8 and 6.8 nM. In HeLa CD4 MAGI cell culture virus replication assays, GW678248 has an IC50 of ≤21 nM against HIV-1 isogenic strains with single or double mutations known to be associated with NNRTI resistance, including L100I, K101E, K103N, V106A/I/M, V108I, E138K, Y181C, Y188C, Y188L, G190A/E, P225H, and P236L and various combinations. An IC50 of 86 nM was obtained with a mutant virus having V106I, E138K, and P236L mutations that resulted from serial passage of WT virus in the presence of GW678248. The presence of 45 mg/ml human serum albumin plus 1 mg/ml α-1 acid glycoprotein increased the IC50 approximately sevenfold. Cytotoxicity studies with GW678248 indicate that the 50% cytotoxicity concentration is greater than the level of compound solubility and provides a selectivity index of >2,500-fold for WT, Y181C, or K103N HIV-1. This compound exhibits excellent preclinical antiviral properties and, as a prodrug designated GW695634, is being developed as a new generation of NNRTI for the treatment of HIV-1 in combination with other antiretroviral agents.
A doripenem population pharmacokinetic model and Monte Carlo simulations were utilized for dose regimen decision support for future clinical development. Simulation results predict that 500 mg of doripenem administered over 1 h every 8 h would be effective against bacterial strains with MICs less than 2 μg/ml and that less susceptible strains could be treated with prolonged infusions.
The in vitro interaction between amphotericin B and micafungin against 36 isolates of Scedosporium spp. has been evaluated using checkerboard assays and the minimal effective concentration endpoint. Synergy was found for 82.4% of Scedosporium prolificans isolates and for 31.6% of Scedosporium apiospermum isolates. Antagonism was not observed.