Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Clarithromycin Against Macrolide-Resistant (PCR positive mefA or ermB) Streptococcus pneumoniae Simulating Clinically Achievable Free Drug Serum and Epithelial Lining Fluid Concentrations

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The association between macrolide resistance mechanisms and clinical outcomes remains understudied. The present study, using an in vitro pharmacodynamic model, assessed clarithromycin (CLR) activity against mef(A)-positive and erm(B)-negative Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates by simulating free-drug concentrations in serum and both total (protein-bound and free) and free drug in epithelial lining fluid (ELF). Five mef(A)-positive and erm(B)-negative strains, one mef(A)-negative and erm(B)-positive strain, and a control [mef(A)-negative and erm(B)-negative] strain of S. pneumoniae were tested. CLR was modeled using a one-compartment model, simulating a dosage of 500 mg, per os, twice a day (in serum, free-drug Cp maximum of 2 μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h; in ELF, CELF(total) maximum of 35μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h; CELF(free) maximum of 14 μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h). Starting inocula were 106 CFU/ml in Mueller-Hinton broth with 2% lysed horse blood. With sampling at 0, 4, 8, 12, 20, and 24 h, the extent of bacterial killing was assessed. Achieving CLR T/MIC values of ≥90% (AUC0-24/MIC ratio, ≥61) resulted in bacterial eradication, while T>MIC values of 40 to 56% (AUC0-24/MIC ratios of ≥30.5 to 38) resulted in a 1.2 to 2.0 log10 CFU/ml decrease at 24 h compared to that for the initial inoculum. CLR T/MIC values of ≤8% (AUC0-24/MIC ratio, ≤17.3) resulted in a static effect or bacterial regrowth. The high drug concentrations in ELF that were obtained clinically with CLR may explain the lack of clinical failures with mef(A)-producing S. pneumoniae strains, with MICs up to 8 μg/ml. However, mef(A) isolates for which MICs are ≥16 μg/ml along with erm(B) may result in bacteriological failures.


This article was originally published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, volume 46, issue 12, in 2002. DOI: 10.1128/AAC.46.12.4029-4034.2002


American Society for Microbiology