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Activity of two long-acting rifamycins, rifapentine and FCE 22807, in experimental murine tuberculosis.

  • Dhillon, J
  • Dickinson, J M
  • Guy, J A
  • Ng, T K
  • Mitchison, D A
Published Article
Tubercle and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1992
PMID: 1643297


The efficacy of the long-acting rifamycins, rifapentine (RPE) and FCE 22807 (FCE) in experimental murine tuberculosis was studied by counting viable bacilli in spleens. At 2 weeks after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, strain H37Rv, treatment with isoniazid 25 mg/kg, rifampicin 10 mg/kg and pyrazinamide 150 mg/kg was given daily for 6 weeks. The mice were then divided into groups given RPE or FCE at intervals of 1, 2 or 3 weeks with spleen counts after 18 and 24 weeks of chemotherapy. The first experiment showed the great effect of the size of the dose of RPE, which, in once-weekly regimens, caused rapid sterilization at 16 mg/kg, less rapid sterilization at 10 mg/kg and incomplete activity at 6.25 mg/kg. Regimens of RPE given every 2 or 3 weeks were less effective, though 16 mg/kg fortnightly was as good as 6 mg/kg once-weekly. The second experiment compared RPE and FCE each given at 12 or 8 mg/kg. The results were similar though, at 8 mg/kg every 2 or 3 weeks, FCE was slightly more effective than RPE. Serum assays showed that the levels with 8 and 12 mg/kg FCE were lower than those produced even by 6.25 mg/kg RPE, suggesting that FCE would be a better drug than RPE if its bioavailability could be improved, and that the levels following 16 mg/kg RPE were similar to those found in man after 8 mg/kg RPE taken with a fat-rich meal, suggesting good prospects for effective once-fortnightly human treatment. The potential for long-acting rifamycins in the management of pulmonary tuberculosis is discussed.

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