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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1993 Jan;31(1):139-50.

In-vitro activity of azithromycin on Chlamydia trachomatis infected, polarized human endometrial epithelial cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill 27599-7290.


The in-vitro activity of azithromycin on Chlamydia trachomatis infected human endometrial epithelial cells, both primary and transformed cells growing in a polarized and non-polarized orientation, was analyzed. Addition of azithromycin two hours after adsorption inoculation with continued exposure until 72 h gave an MIC90 and MBC90 of 0.063 and 0.5 mg/L, respectively. In addition, the MBC results were more pronounced in infected cells growing in a polarized orientation. Numerous small fluorescent 'spots' (presumed small abnormal inclusions) were visible in the infected cells exposed to MIC concentrations of azithromycin. Immuno-transmission electron microscopy examination revealed intracellular inclusions filled with chlamydial envelope ghosts. Since standard diagnostic antigen detection methods use anti-envelope antibodies, the aberrant envelope-filled inclusions might be interpreted as viable inclusions by fluorescent microscopy and result in high false positive readings. To simulate treatment of an infected patient, azithromycin was added at 18 h to infected cells containing many reticulate bodies and exposure continued for 54 h after which killing of chlamydiae was seen. The use of polarized human cells may offer a more relevant in-vitro model system for examining the efficacy of antimicrobial action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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