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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1978 Nov;14(5):737-42.

Effect of two cancer chemotherapeutic agents on the antibacterial activity of three antimicrobial agents.


Cancer chemotherapeutic agents and antibacterial antibiotics are often given concomitantly. Daunorubicin, cytosine arabinoside, and three antibiotics (gentamicin, amikacin, and ticarcillin) were tested individually and in combinations to determine their antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli. These cytotoxic agents are commonly employed in the therapy of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia for remission induction therapy, and these antimicrobial agents are used in infection therapy. The maximum concentrations of the two cytotoxic drugs were chosen to be twice the known peak plasma levels of commonly employed dosage schedules. Neither of the cancer chemotherapeutic agents, alone or in combination, demonstrated bactericidal activity at the levels tested. However, in the presence of these agents, the antimicrobial activity of gentamicin and amikacin, although not that of ticarcillin, was depressed for 11 of 15 K. pneumoniae strains and 8 of 15 P. aeruginosa strains, but for none of the strains of E. coli. This level of decreased activity occasionally resulted in a minimal inhibitory concentration of the tested aminoglycoside well above the standard serum levels. Daunorubicin was more likely to antagonize gentamicin than was cytosine arabinoside.

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