Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2007 Nov;51(11):3988-4000. Epub 2007 Sep 10.

In vitro infection model characterizing the effect of efflux pump inhibition on prevention of resistance to levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Author information

Emerging Infection and Host Defense Theme, Ordway Research Institute, 150 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12208, USA.


The prevalence of fluoroquinolone-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae is slowly rising as a consequence of the increased use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to treat community-acquired pneumonia. We tested the hypothesis that increased efflux pump (EP) expression by S. pneumoniae may facilitate the emergence of fluoroquinolone resistance. By using an in vitro pharmacodynamic infection system, a wild-type S. pneumoniae strain (Spn-058) and an isogenic strain with EP overexpression (Spn-RC2) were treated for 10 days with ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin in the presence or absence of the EP inhibitor reserpine to evaluate the effect of EP inhibition on the emergence of resistance. Cultures of Spn-058 and Spn-RC2 were exposed to concentration-time profiles simulating those in humans treated with a regimen of ciprofloxacin at 750 mg orally once every 12 h and with regimens of levofloxacin at 500 and 750 mg orally once daily (QD; with or without continuous infusions of 20 microg of reserpine/ml). The MICs of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin for Spn-058 were both 1 microg/ml when susceptibility testing was conducted with each antibiotic alone and with each antibiotic in the presence of reserpine. For Spn-RC2, the MIC of levofloxacin alone and with reserpine was also 1 mug/ml; the MICs of ciprofloxacin were 2 and 1 microg/ml, respectively, when determined with ciprofloxacin alone and in combination with reserpine. Reserpine, alone, had no effect on the growth of Spn-058 and Spn-RC2. For Spn-058, simulated regimens of ciprofloxacin at 750 mg every 12 h or levofloxacin at 500 mg QD were associated with the emergence of fluoroquinolone resistance. However, the use of ciprofloxacin at 750 mg every 12 h and levofloxacin at 500 mg QD in combination with reserpine rapidly killed Spn-058 and prevented the emergence of resistance. For Spn-RC2, levofloxacin at 500 mg QD was associated with the emergence of resistance, but again, the resistance was prevented when this levofloxacin regimen was combined with reserpine. Ciprofloxacin at 750 mg every 12 h also rapidly selected for ciprofloxacin-resistant mutants of Spn-RC2. However, the addition of reserpine to ciprofloxacin therapy only delayed the emergence of resistance. Levofloxacin at 750 mg QD, with and without reserpine, effectively eradicated Spn-058 and Spn-RC2 without selecting for fluoroquinolone resistance. Ethidium bromide uptake and efflux studies demonstrated that, at the baseline, Spn-RC2 had greater EP expression than Spn-058. These studies also showed that ciprofloxacin was a better inducer of EP expression than levofloxacin in both Spn-058 and Spn-RC2. However, in these isolates, the increase in EP expression by short-term exposure to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin was transient. Mutants of Spn-058 and Spn-RC2 that emerged under suboptimal antibiotic regimens had a stable increase in EP expression. Levofloxacin at 500 mg QD in combination with reserpine, an EP inhibitor, or at 750 mg QD alone killed wild-type S. pneumoniae and strains that overexpressed reserpine-inhibitable EPs and was highly effective in preventing the emergence of fluoroquinolone resistance in S. pneumoniae during therapy. Ciprofloxacin at 750 mg every 12 h, as monotherapy, was ineffective for the treatment of Spn-058 and Spn-RC2. Ciprofloxacin in combination with reserpine prevented the emergence of resistance in Spn-058 but not in Spn-RC2, the EP-overexpressing strain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center