Mefloquine and its oxazolidine derivative compound are active against drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains and in a murine model of tuberculosis infection


Repurposing of drugs to treat tuberculosis (TB) has been considered an alternative to overcome the global TB epidemic, especially to combat drug-resistant forms of the disease. Mefloquine has been reported as a potent drug to kill drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In addition, mefloquine-derived molecules have been synthesised and their effectiveness against mycobacteria has been assessed. In this work, we demonstrate for the first time the activities of mefloquine and its oxazolidine derivative compound 1E in a murine model of TB infection following administration of both drugs by the oral route. The effects of associations between mefloquine or 1E with the clinically used antituberculosis drugs isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, moxifloxacin and streptomycin were also investigated. Importantly, combination of mefloquine with isoniazid and of 1E with streptomycin showed a two-fold decrease in their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). Moreover, no tested combinations demonstrated antagonist interactions. Here we describe novel evidence on the activity of mefloquine and 1E against a series of quinolone-resistant M. tuberculosis strains. These data show MICs against quinolone-resistant strains (0.5–8 µg/mL) similar to or lower than those previously reported for multidrug-resistant strains. Taking these results together, we can suggest the use of mefloquine or 1E in combination with clinically available drugs, especially in the case of resistant forms of TB.

Keywords: Tuberculosis, Mefloquine, Murine model, Combination, Quinolone-resistant strains

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1 de Agosto de 2016

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