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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1999 Jul;43(7):1638-43.

Effective treatment of acute and chronic murine tuberculosis with liposome-encapsulated clofazimine.

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  • 1G. W. Long Hansen's Disease Center at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.


The therapeutic efficacy of liposomal clofazimine (L-CLF) was studied in mice infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis Erdman. Groups of mice were treated with either free clofazimine (F-CLF), L-CLF, or empty liposomes twice a week for five treatments beginning on day 1 (acute), day 21 (established), or day 90 (chronic) postinfection. One day after the last treatment, the numbers of CFU of M. tuberculosis in the spleen, liver, and lungs were determined. F-CLF at the maximum tolerated dose of 5 mg/kg of body weight was ineffective; however, 10-fold-higher doses of L-CLF demonstrated a dose response with significant CFU reduction in all tissues without any toxic effects. In acutely infected mice, 50 mg of L-CLF/kg reduced CFU 2 to 3 log units in all three organs. In established or chronic infection, treated mice showed no detectable CFU in the spleen or liver and 1- to 2-log-unit reduction in the lungs. A second series of L-CLF treatments cleared M. tuberculosis in all three tissues. L-CLF appears to be bactericidal in the liver and spleen, which remained negative for M. tuberculosis growth for 2 months. Thus, L-CLF could be useful in the treatment of tuberculosis.

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