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Pharm Res. 2001 Sep;18(9):1315-9.

Respirable PLGA microspheres containing rifampicin for the treatment of tuberculosis: screening in an infectious disease model.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599, USA.



Targeted delivery of rifampicin loaded microspheres to the alveolar macrophage, the host cell for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), may be an effective targeted approach to pulmonary tuberculosis therapy. A guinea pig infection model has been adopted as a post-treatment screening method for antimicrobial effect. Insufflation and nebulization methods of drug delivery were evaluated.


Rifampicin alone (RIF, 1.03-1.72 mg/kg), within poly(lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres (R-PLGA, equivalent to 1.03-1.72 mg/kg) or polymer microparticles alone (PLGA) were administered by insufflation or nebulization, 24 h before bacterial aerosol exposure. Animals were infected with an aerosol containing a small number (2 x 10(5) cfu/mL) of virulent H37Rv strain of MTB. Lung and spleen tissue samples were collected 28 days after infection for quantitative bacteriology and histopathological analysis.


There was a dose-effect relationship between insufflated R-PLGA and burden of bacteria in the lungs. In addition, guinea pigs treated with R-PLGA had a significantly smaller number of viable bacteria (P < 0.05), reduced inflammation and lung damage than lactose or saline control, PLGA or RIF treated animals.


These studies indicate the potential of R-PLGA, delivered by insufflation or nebulization directly to the lungs, to affect the early development of pulmonary TB.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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