Send to

Choose Destination
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1995 Feb;39(2):435-9.

Enhancement of antibiotic susceptibility and suppression of Mycobacterium avium complex growth by poloxamer 331.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


The resistance of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) to antibiotics is thought to be enhanced by its outer glycolipid layer, which protects the organisms from antibiotics and host defense mechanisms. We hypothesized that surfactants which disrupt the lipid barrier might be of therapeutic value. We evaluated the ability of 10 poloxamer surfactants to inhibit the growth of MAC organisms and to potentiate antimycobacterial drug activity in broth culture using a radiometric assay. Very large, small, or hydrophilic poloxamers had little or no effect. However, certain hydrophobic poloxamers, especially P331, retarded the growth of most isolates of MAC and produced a synergistic effect with rifampin. The MIC of rifampin required to inhibit the growth of MAC was reduced from a mean of 14.6 micrograms/ml (range, 4 to > 32 micrograms/ml) to 1.4 micrograms/ml (range, < 1.125 to 4 micrograms/ml) by 1.0 mg of P331 per ml (P < 0.01). Enhancement of antibiotic susceptibility was observed with concentrations of poloxamer as low as 10 micrograms/ml. These studies suggest that P331 might be useful in increasing the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy of MAC infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center