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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2009 Sep;89(5):378-85. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Sep 11.

A simple in vitro PK/PD model system to determine time-kill curves of drugs against Mycobacteria.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 874 Union Avenue, Suite 5p, Memphis, TN 38163, USA.


In vivo tuberculosis is exposed to continually changing drug concentrations for which static minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing may be a poor surrogate. While in vitro approaches to determine time-kill curves for antibiotics have been widely applied in assessing antimicrobial activity against fast growing microorganisms, their availability and application for slow-growing microorganisms including Mycobacterium tuberculosis has so far been scarce. Thus, we developed a novel simple in vitro pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) model for establishing time-kill curves and applied it for evaluating the antimicrobial activity of different dosing regimens of isoniazid (INH) against Mycobacterium bovis BCG as a surrogate for virulent M. tuberculosis. In the in vitro model M. bovis BCG was exposed to INH concentration-time profiles as usually encountered during multiple dose therapy with 25, 100 and 300mg/day in humans who are fast or slow INH metabolizers. Bacterial killing was followed over time by determining viable counts and the resulting time-kill data was analyzed using a semi-mechanistic PK/PD model with an adaptive IC(50) function to describe the emergence of insensitive populations of bacteria over the course of treatment. In agreement with previous studies, the time-kill data suggest that AUC(0-24)/MIC is the PK/PD index that is the most explanatory of the antimicrobial effect of INH. The presented in vitro PK/PD model and associated modeling approach were able to characterize the time-kill kinetics of INH in M. bovis BCG, and may in general serve as a potentially valuable, low cost tool for the assessment of antibacterial activity in slow-growing organisms in drug development and applied pharmacotherapy.

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