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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1993 Sep;32(3):473-82.

Correlation between macrolide lung pharmacokinetics and therapeutic efficacy in a mouse model of pneumococcal pneumonia.

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INSERM U.13, Paris, France.


The correlation between the pharmacokinetics of erythromycin, roxithromycin, clarithromycin, spiramycin and azithromycin and their efficacy was investigated in two pneumococcal pneumonia models. Female Swiss and C57B1/6 mice were infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae strain P4241 by the intratracheal per oral route. This virulent strain produces acute pneumonia with death within 3-4 days (Swiss mice), or subacute pneumonia with death within 10 days (C57B1/6 mice) in untreated mice and the outcome of the disease is closely related to progressive weight loss. Swiss mice received three doses of each macrolide 50 mg/kg bd beginning 18 h post-infection. C57B1/6 mice received three doses of each macrolide 25 mg/kg, bd (except azithromycin was 12.5 mg/kg bd) beginning 48 h post-infection. Cure rates were evaluated on the basis of body weight variations recorded daily after the end of treatment. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined in infected and non-infected mice after a single dose of each macrolide 50 mg/kg sc. The pharmacokinetics of azithromycin was also determined in leucopenic Swiss mice. We observed a hierarchy of in-vivo efficacy as follows: azithromycin > spiramycin = clarithromycin > roxithromycin = erythromycin which did not correlate with in-vitro MIC or MBC. The same hierarchy was found in terms of the lung T1/2. Lung T1/2s of macrolides could thus be predictive of their efficacy in respiratory tract infections. A reduced tissue AUC of azithromycin was seen in leucopenic mice suggesting leucocytes may help transport macrolides to sites of infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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