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J Infect Dis. 2003 Jun 15;187(12):1977-80. Epub 2003 Jun 4.

Mefloquine, moxifloxacin, and ethambutol are a triple-drug alternative to macrolide-containing regimens for treatment of Mycobacterium avium disease.

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Kuzell Institute for Arthritis and Infectious Diseases, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, San Francisco, California, USA.


Macrolides are the core of effective drug regimens for the treatment of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease. Mefloquine (MFQ), moxifloxacin (MXF), and ethambutol (EMB), in combination, were evaluated against both clarithromycin-resistant (CLR-R) and CLR-susceptible (CLR-S) MAC; MFQ (40 mg/kg), MXF (100 mg/kg), or EMB (100 mg/kg/day) was given to mice for 4 weeks. MFQ was bactericidal, whereas MXF and EMB were bacteriostatic against both MAC 101 CLR-S and CLR-R. The combination of MFQ and EMB reduced (P<.05, for comparison with controls), and the combination of MFQ and MXF significantly reduced, the load of CLR-R in both the liver and the spleen. Treatment with all 3 drugs was associated with approximately 1-log reduction of CLR-R after 1 week, 2.1-log reduction of CLR-R after 4 weeks, and 2.17-log reduction in MAC/mL blood. Treatment of MAC 101 CLR-S strain had comparable results.

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