TitleClarithromycin, dapsone, and a combination of both used to treat or prevent disseminated Mycobacterium avium infection in beige mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsBermudez, LE, Inderlied, CB, Kolonoski, P, Petrofsky, M, Young, LS
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Date Published1994 Dec

Bacteremic infection caused by organisms of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is common in patients with AIDS. We evaluated both clarithromycin and dapsone alone and in combination for the treatment and prevention of disseminated MAC disease in beige mice. In the therapeutic model, C57BL/6 beige mice were infected intravenously with strain 101 of MAC (serovar 1). After 1 week postinfection, mice were given clarithromycin (200 mg/kg of body weight per day) and dapsone (15 mg/kg of body weight per day) alone or in combination by gavage. Treatment with clarithromycin resulted in a significant reduction in bacteremia and the numbers of CFU of MAC in the liver and spleen. Treatment with dapsone had no effect on the mycobacterial counts in blood, liver, or spleen, and the combination of dapsone with clarithromycin was no better than clarithromycin as a single agent. Clarithromycin and dapsone were used to prevent systemic disease in beige mice infected orally with MAC 101. Clarithromycin prophylaxis was associated with a significant reduction in the numbers of bacteria in the liver, spleen, and appendix compared with those in controls. Prophylaxis with dapsone resulted in a mild reduction in the numbers of MAC in the spleen but not in the other tissues. Clarithromycin both treats and prevents MAC disease in beige mice. Dapsone has no therapeutic effect, but it does have a slight prophylactic effect, and in combination with clarithromycin it does not abrogate the effect of clarithromycin.