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Inhibition of intracellular growth of Mycobacterium avium by one pulsed exposure of infected macrophages to clarithromycin.

  • N Mor
  • L Heifets
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1993


A single 2-h pulsed exposure of either human monocyte-derived macrophages or J774 cells infected with Mycobacterium avium to clarithromycin at 3.0 micrograms/ml completely inhibited the intracellular bacterial growth during the first four days of observation, and then only a slight increase in the number of CFU per milliliter took place between the fourth and seventh days. These data suggest that in vivo the intracellular bacteria can be effectively inhibited after a short period when the concentration of the drug in blood reaches its maximum. On the basis of these data, the assumptions that the elimination of bacteremia observed in clarithromycin clinical trials is a result of the activity of the drug not only against bacteria in blood but in macrophages as well and that the peak concentration attainable in blood is essential for these effects can be made.

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