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Vet Microbiol. 2011 Mar 24;148(2-4):292-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Impact of early versus later fluoroquinolone treatment on the clinical; microbiological and resistance outcomes in a mouse-lung model of Pasteurella multocida infection.

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UMR181 Physiopathologie et Toxicologie Expérimentales, INRA, ENVT, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, 23 chemin des Capelles, BP 87 614, 31076 Toulouse Cedex 3, France.


The early curative uses of antimicrobial drugs such as fluoroquinolones before the onset of symptoms in veterinary medicine may be regarded as irrational antibiotic consumption. However, it should be stressed that in early curative antimicrobial treatment as in metaphylaxis, the bacterial burden at the infection site is often very low, and so the rapid eradication of the bacterial population could result. We investigated the impact of early versus later curative administrations of 1 or 40 mg/kg of marbofloxacin on the survival of mice, the eradication of the targeted pathogen and the selection of resistant bacteria in a mouse lung infection with Pasteurella multocida. In this model, for a given marbofloxacin dose, the clinical and bacteriological outcomes were better, and the selection of resistance less frequent, for the early rather than for the late treatment. Moreover, the early administration of 1mg/kg led to better clinical and similar bacteriological (eradication and selection of resistance) outcomes than the late administration of 40 mg/kg marbofloxacin. Our results suggest that the optimal doses for the animals' cure could be lower when administered early during the time course of the infection than when administered after the disease outbreak. As the main argument against early treatments such as metaphylaxis is the possible enhancement of resistance at the gut level, further studies should assess if lower doses of antibiotic administered to all the animals of a herd could have less impact on the commensal digestive flora than higher doses only administered to animals showing clinical symptoms.

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