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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2002 Oct;46(10):3185-92.

Bactericidal effect and pharmacodynamics of cethromycin (ABT-773) in a murine pneumococcal pneumonia model.

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Department of Pharmacy Research, Division of Infectious Diseases, Office for Research, Hartford Hospital, Connecticut 06102, USA.


Cethromycin (ABT-773), a new ketolide, possesses potent in vitro activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae. The objective of this study was to investigate the in vivo bactericidal activity of cethromycin against macrolide-susceptible and -resistant S. pneumoniae in a murine pneumonia model and to describe the pharmacodynamic (PD) profile of cethromycin. Eight (two macrolide susceptible, six macrolide resistant) clinical isolates of S. pneumoniae were investigated. Cyclophosphamide administration rendered ICR mice transiently neutropenic prior to intratracheal inoculation with 0.05 ml of an S. pneumoniae suspension containing 10(7) to 10(8) CFU/ml. Oral cethromycin was initiated 12 to 14 h postinoculation over a dosage range of 0.1 to 800 mg/kg of body weight/day. Lungs from seven to eight mice per treatment and control groups were collected at 0 and 24 h posttherapy to assess bacterial density. The cumulative mortality (n = 12 to 13) was assessed at 120 h (end of therapy) and at 192 h (3 days posttherapy). Recovery of pneumococci from the lungs of infected animals prior to the initiation of therapy ranged from 4.6 to 7.2 log(10) CFU. Growth in untreated control animals over a 24-h study period increased 0.3 to 2.7 log(10) CFU. Cethromycin demonstrated a substantial bactericidal effect, regardless of macrolide susceptibility. Correlation between changes in bacterial density (24 h) and survival over both 120 and 192 h were statistically significant. All three PD parameters demonstrated a significant correlation with changes in log(10) CFU/lung (Spearman's correlation coefficient, P < 0.001); however, the goodness of fit as assessed with the maximum effect (E(max)) model revealed that the maximum concentration of free drug in serum (C(max free))/MIC and the area under the free drug concentration-time curve (AUC(free))/MIC best explained the relationship between drug exposure and reductions in viable bacterial counts. These data reveal that an approximate cethromycin AUC(free)/MIC of 50 or C(max free)/MIC of 1 results in bacteriostatic effects, while higher values (twofold) maximize survival.

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