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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Jan;55(1):124-31. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00978-10. Epub 2010 Oct 11.

Activities of TMC207, rifampin, and pyrazinamide against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in guinea pigs.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


The experimental compound TMC207 is showing promise against infections caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis both in a variety of animal studies and in the field. In this study, we used the guinea pig model, a species that shows several similarities to human tuberculosis, including the hallmark of primary granuloma necrosis, to determine the efficacy of a combination regimen combining TMC207 with rifampin and pyrazinamide. This drug regimen rapidly reduced the bacterial load in the lungs to undetectable levels by 8 weeks of treatment. This reduction was associated with a substantial improvement in lung pathology, but despite this effect areas of residual necrosis still remained. In the draining lymph nodes, however, tissue damage was rapid and not significantly reversed by the drug treatment. Approximately 10 to 11 months after the treatment had ended, the animals began to trigger a Karnovsky scale indicating bacterial regrowth and potential relapse, an event confirmed by the new development of both pulmonary and extrapulmonary granulomatous lesions. Interestingly, a similar rate of relapse was also seen in animals receiving 24 weeks of rifampin, pyrazinamide, and isoniazid standard chemotherapy. These data indicate that TMC207 could be a useful addition to current treatment regimens for tuberculosis.

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