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1.  Accumulation of 3-Ketosteroids Induced by Itraconazole in Azole-Resistant Clinical Candida albicans Isolates 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1999;43(11):2663-2670.
The effects of itraconazole on ergosterol biosynthesis were investigated in a series of 16 matched clinical Candida albicans isolates which had been previously analyzed for mechanisms of resistance to azoles (D. Sanglard, K. Kuchler, F. Ischer, J. L. Pagani, M. Monod, and J. Bille, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 39:2378–2386, 1995). Under control conditions, all isolates contained ergosterol as the predominant sterol, except two strains (C48 and C56). In isolates C48 and C56, both less susceptible to azoles than their parent, C43, substantial concentrations (20 to 30%) of 14α-methyl-ergosta-8,24(28)-diene-3β,6α-diol (3,6-diol) were found. Itraconazole treatment of C43 resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of ergosterol biosynthesis (50% inhibitory concentration, 2 nM) and accumulation of 3,6-diol (up to 60% of the total sterols) together with eburicol, lanosterol, obtusifoliol, 14α-methyl-ergosta-5,7,22,24(28)-tetraene-3βol, and 14α-methyl-fecosterol. In strains C48 and C56, no further increase of 3,6-diol was observed after exposure to itraconazole. Ergosterol synthesis was less sensitive to itraconazole inhibition, as was expected for these azole-resistant isolates which overexpress ATP-binding cassette transporter genes CDR1 and CDR2. In addition to 3,6-diol, substantial amounts of obtusifolione were found after exposure to itraconazole. This toxic 3-ketosteroid was demonstrated previously to accumulate after itraconazole treatment in Cryptococcus neoformans and Histoplasma capsulatum but has not been reported in Candida isolates. Accumulation of obtusifolione correlated with nearly complete growth inhibition in these azole-resistant strains compared to that found in the susceptible parent strain, although the onset of growth inhibition only occurred at higher concentrations of itraconazole. ERG25 and ERG26 are the only genes assigned to the 4-demethylation process, of which the 3-ketoreductase is part. To verify whether mutations in these ERG25 genes contributed to obtusifolione accumulation, their nucleotide sequences were determined in all three related isolates. No mutations in ERG25 alleles of isolates C48 and C56 were found, suggesting that this gene is not involved in obtusifolione accumulation. The molecular basis for the accumulation of this sterol in these two strains remains to be established.
PMCID: PMC89540  PMID: 10543744
2.  Involvement of an Active Efflux System in the Natural Resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to Aminoglycosides 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1999;43(11):2624-2628.
A mutant, named 11B, hypersusceptible to aminoglycosides, tetracycline, and erythromycin was isolated after Tn501 insertion mutagenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Cloning and sequencing experiments showed that 11B was deficient in an, at that time, unknown active efflux system that contains homologs of MexAB. This locus also contained a putative regulatory gene, mexZ, transcribed divergently from the efflux operon. Introduction of a recombinant plasmid that carries the genes of the efflux system restored the resistance of 11B to parental levels, whereas overexpression of these genes strongly increased the MICs of substrate antibiotics for the PAO1 host. Antibiotic accumulation studies confirmed that this new system is an energy-dependent active efflux system that pumps out aminoglycosides. Furthermore, this system appeared to function with an outer membrane protein, OprM. While the present paper was being written and reviewed, genes with a sequence identical to our pump genes, mexXY of P. aeruginosa, have been reported to increase resistance to erythromycin, fluoroquinolones, and organic cations in Escherichia coli hosts, although efflux of aminoglycosides was not examined (Mine et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 43:415–417, 1999). Our study thus shows that the MexXY system plays an important role in the intrinsic resistance of P. aeruginosa to aminoglycosides. Although overexpression of MexXY increased the level of resistance to fluoroquinolones, disruption of the mexXY operon in P. aeruginosa had no detectable effect on susceptibility to these agents.
PMCID: PMC89534  PMID: 10543738
3.  Comparative Efficacies of Liposomal Amikacin (MiKasome) plus Oxacillin versus Conventional Amikacin plus Oxacillin in Experimental Endocarditis Induced by Staphylococcus aureus: Microbiological and Echocardiographic Analyses 
Optimal treatment strategies for serious infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus have not been fully characterized. The combination of a β-lactam plus an aminoglycoside can act synergistically against S. aureus in vitro and in vivo. MiKasome, a new liposome-encapsulated formulation of conventional amikacin, significantly prolongs serum half-life (t1/2) and increases the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) compared to free amikacin. Microbiologic efficacy and left ventricular function, as assessed by echocardiography, were compared in animals administered either oxacillin alone or oxacillin in combination with conventional amikacin or MiKasome in a rabbit model of experimental endocarditis due to S. aureus. In vitro, oxacillin, combined with either free amikacin or MiKasome, prevented the bacterial regrowth observed with aminoglycosides alone at 24 h of incubation. Rabbits with S. aureus endocarditis were treated with either oxacillin alone (50 mg/kg, given intramuscularly three times daily), oxacillin plus daily amikacin (27 mg/kg, given intravenously twice daily), or oxacillin plus intermittent MiKasome (160 mg/kg, given intravenously, a single dose on days 1 and 4). The oxacillin-alone dosage represents a subtherapeutic regimen against the infecting strain in the endocarditis model (L. Hirano and A. S. Bayer, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 35:685–690, 1991), thus allowing recognition of any enhanced bactericidal effects between oxacillin and either aminoglycoside formulation. Treatment was administered for either 3 or 6 days, and animals were sacrificed after each of these time points or at 5 days after a 6-day treatment course (to evaluate for posttherapy relapse). Left ventricular function was analyzed by utilizing serial transthoracic echocardiography during treatment and posttherapy by measurement of left ventricular fractional shortening. At all sacrifice times, both combination regimens significantly reduced S. aureus vegetation counts versus control counts (P < 0.05). In contrast, oxacillin alone did not significantly reduce S. aureus vegetation counts after 3 days of therapy. Furthermore, at this time point, the two combinations were significantly more effective than oxacillin alone (P < 0.05). All three regimens were effective in significantly decreasing bacterial counts in the myocardium during and after therapy compared to controls (P < 0.05). In kidney and spleen abscesses, all regimens significantly reduced bacterial counts during therapy (P < 0.0001); however, only the combination regimens prevented bacteriologic relapse in these organs posttherapy. By echocardiographic analysis, both combination regimens yielded a significant physiological benefit by maintaining normal left ventricular function during treatment and posttherapy compared with oxacillin alone (P < 0.001). These results suggest that the use of intermittent MiKasome (similar to daily conventional amikacin) enhances the in vivo bactericidal effects of oxacillin in a severe S. aureus infection model and preserves selected physiological functions in target end organs.
PMCID: PMC89353  PMID: 10390232
4.  In Vivo Efficacies of Combinations of β-Lactams, β-Lactamase Inhibitors, and Rifampin against Acinetobacter baumannii in a Mouse Pneumonia Model 
The effects of various regimens containing combinations of β-lactams, β-lactam inhibitor(s), and rifampin were assessed in a recently described mouse model of Acinetobacter baumannii pneumonia (M. L. Joly-Guillou, M. Wolff, J. J. Pocidalo, F. Walker, and C. Carbon, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 41:345–351, 1997). Two aspects of the therapeutic response were studied: the kinetics of the bactericidal effect (treatment was initiated 3 h after intratracheal inoculation, and bacterial counts were determined over a 24-h period) and survival (treatment was initiated 8 h after inoculation, and the cumulative mortality rate was assessed on day 5). Two clinical strains were used: a cephalosporinase-producing strain (SAN-94040) and a multiresistant strain (RCH-69). For SAN-94040 and RCH-69, MICs and MBCs (milligrams per liter) were as follows: ticarcillin, 32, 64, 256, and >256, respectively; ticarcillin-clavulanate, 32, 64, and 512, and >512, respectively; imipenem, 0.5, 0.5, 8, and 32, respectively; sulbactam, 0.5, 0.5, 8, and 8, respectively; and rifampin, 8, 8, 4, and 4, respectively. Against SAN-94040, four regimens, i.e., imipenem, sulbactam, imipenem-rifampin, and ticarcillin-clavulanate (at a 25/1 ratio)-sulbactam produced a true bactericidal effect (≥3-log10 reduction of CFU/g of lung). The best survival rate (i.e., 93%) was obtained with the combination of ticarcillin-clavulanate-sulbactam, and regimens containing rifampin provided a survival rate of ≥65%. Against RCH-69, only regimens containing rifampin and the combination of imipenem-sulbactam had a true bactericidal effect. The best survival rates (≥80%) were obtained with regimens containing rifampin and sulbactam. These results suggest that nonclassical combinations of β-lactams, β-lactamase inhibitors, and rifampin should be considered for the treatment of nosocomial pneumonia due to A. baumannii.
PMCID: PMC89287  PMID: 10348761
5.  Mechanism of the Intracellular Killing and Modulation of Antibiotic Susceptibility of Listeria monocytogenes in THP-1 Macrophages Activated by Gamma Interferon 
Listeria monocytogenes, a facultative intracellular pathogen, readily enters cells and multiplies in the cytosol after escaping from phagosomal vacuoles. Macrophages exposed to gamma interferon, one of the main cellular host defenses against Listeria, become nonpermissive for bacterial growth while containing Listeria in the phagosomes. Using the human myelomonocytic cell line THP-1, we show that the combination of l-monomethyl arginine and catalase restores bacterial growth without affecting the phagosomal containment of Listeria. A previous report (B. Scorneaux, Y. Ouadrhiri, G. Anzalone, and P. M. Tulkens, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 40:1225–1230, 1996) showed that intracellular Listeria was almost equally sensitive to ampicillin, azithromycin, and sparfloxacin in control cells but became insensitive to ampicillin and more sensitive to azithromycin and sparfloxacin in gamma interferon-treated cells. We show here that these modulations of antibiotic activity are largely counteracted by l-monomethyl arginine and catalase. In parallel, we show that gamma interferon enhances the cellular accumulation of azithromycin and sparfloxacin, an effect which is not reversed by addition of l-monomethyl arginine and catalase and which therefore cannot account for the increased activity of these antibiotics in gamma interferon-treated cells. We conclude that (i) the control exerted by gamma interferon on intracellular multiplication of Listeria in THP-1 macrophages is dependent on the production of nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide; (ii) intracellular Listeria may become insensitive to ampicillin in macrophages exposed to gamma interferon because the increase in reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates already controls bacterial growth; and (iii) azithromycin and still more sparfloxacin cooperate efficiently with gamma interferon, one of the main cellular host defenses in Listeria infection.
PMCID: PMC89140  PMID: 10223943
6.  Type II Topoisomerase Mutations in Ciprofloxacin-Resistant Strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
We determined the sequences of the quinolone resistance-determining regions of gyrA, gyrB, and parC genes for 30 clinical strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistant to ciprofloxacin that were previously complemented by wild-type gyrA and gyrB plasmid-borne alleles and studied for their coresistance to imipenem (E. Cambau, E. Perani, C. Dib, C. Petinon, J. Trias, and V. Jarlier, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 39:2248–2252, 1995). In the present study, we found mutations in type II topoisomerase genes for all strains. Twenty-eight strains had a missense mutation in gyrA (codon 83 or 87). Ten of them had an additional mutation in parC (codon 80 or 84), including a novel mutation of Ser-80 to Trp, but all were fully complemented by a plasmid-borne wild-type gyrA allele. The remaining two strains harbored the first gyrB mutation described in P. aeruginosa, leading to the substitution of phenylalanine for serine 464. The strains which had two mutations in type II topoisomerase genes (i.e., gyrA and parC) were significantly more resistant to fluoroquinolones than those with a single mutation in gyrA or gyrB (geometric mean MICs of ciprofloxacin, 39.4 versus 10.9 μg/ml, P < 0.01; geometric mean MICs of sparfloxacin, 64.0 versus 22.6, P < 0.01). No mutant with a parC mutation alone was observed, which favors DNA gyrase being the primary target for fluoroquinolones. These results demonstrate that gyrA mutations are the major mechanism of resistance to fluoroquinolones for clinical strains of P. aeruginosa and that additional mutations in parC lead to a higher level of quinolone resistance.
PMCID: PMC89021  PMID: 9869566
7.  Close Association between Clearance of Recombinant Human Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) and G-CSF Receptor on Neutrophils in Cancer Patients 
Recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF) is used to counter chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. Our previous study showed an inverse correlation between serum rhG-CSF levels and the number of circulating neutrophils in cancer patients (H. Takatani, H. Soda, M. Fukuda, M. Watanabe, A. Kinoshita, T. Nakamura, and M. Oka, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 40:988–991, 1996). The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between rhG-CSF clearance and G-CSF receptors on circulating neutrophils. In five cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, a bolus dose of rhG-CSF (5 μg/kg) was injected intravenously during defined phases of posttreatment neutropenia and neutrophilia. Serum rhG-CSF levels were measured by a chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay and analyzed by moment analysis. G-CSF receptors on neutrophils were detected by flow cytometry with biotinylated rhG-CSF. rhG-CSF clearance was significantly higher at neutrophilia than at neutropenia (1,497 ± 132 versus 995 ± 266 ml/h; P < 0.01). The percentage of G-CSF receptor-positive neutrophils, reflecting the number of G-CSF receptors per cell, was low at neutropenia without rhG-CSF therapy (44.5% ± 22.1%) and high at neutrophilia with rhG-CSF therapy (73.0% ± 11.4%; P < 0.01). rhG-CSF clearance closely correlated with the percentage of G-CSF receptor-positive neutrophils (r2 = 0.91; P < 0.0001) and neutrophil count (r2 = 0.72; P < 0.005). Our results indicate that, in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, rhG-CSF increases the number of G-CSF receptors per cell as well as circulating neutrophil counts, resulting in modulation of its own clearance.
PMCID: PMC89014  PMID: 9869559
12.  Sequence of the MIR-1 β-Lactamase Gene 
The complete nucleotide sequence of the plasmid-mediated MIR-1 β-lactamase gene confirms its relationship to chromosomally located ampC genes of Enterobacter cloacae. blaMIR-1 is not part of a typical gene cassette but does lie near an element that could be involved in its capture on a plasmid.
PMCID: PMC89358  PMID: 10390237
20.  Differential Modulatory Effects of Clarithromycin on the Production of Cytokines by a Tumor 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1999;43(11):2787-2789.
In vitro treatment with clarithromycin inhibited the expression of the matrix metalloproteinase-9, transforming growth factor β, and tumor necrosis factor alpha genes in 13762NF rat mammary adenocarcinoma cells. Transient enhancement, rather than inhibition, was observed for the interleukin-6 gene, and no significant change was observed for the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 gene. Such an effect was not observed for cefotiam or gentamicin.
PMCID: PMC89561  PMID: 10543765
25.  An Alternative Animal Model for Comparison of Treatments for Cryptococcal Meningitis 
Weanling outbred rats were infected with Cryptococcus neoformans by direct percranial puncture and inoculation into the cranium. A lethal infection ensued. Treatment with LY295337, a depsipeptide with antifungal activity, was effective in prolonging survival and reducing fungal counts in brain tissue. Weanling rats are an acceptable model for the study of central nervous system infection with C. neoformans.
PMCID: PMC89093  PMID: 9925548

Results 1-25 (608)