Higher Dosing of Rifamycins Does Not Increase Activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the Hollow-Fiber Infection Model

Elise Pieterman, Sanne van den Berg, Aart van der Meijden, EM Svensson, Hannelore Bax, Jurriaan de Steenwinkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Improvements in the translational value of preclinical models can allow more-successful and more-focused research on shortening the duration of tuberculosis treatment. Although the hollow-fiber infection model (HFIM) is considered a valuable addition to the drug development pipeline, its exact role has not been fully determined yet. Since the strategy of increasing the dose of rifamycins is being evaluated for its treatment-shortening potential, additional in vitro modeling is important. Therefore, we assessed increased dosing of rifampin and rifapentine in our HFIM in order to gain more insight into the place of the HFIM in the drug development pipeline. Total and free-fraction concentrations corresponding to daily dosing of 2.7, 10, and 50 mg of rifampin/kg of body weight, as well as 600 mg and 1,500 mg rifapentine, were assessed in our HFIM using the Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv strain. Drug activity and the emergence of drug resistance were assessed by CFU counting and subsequent mathematical modeling over 14 days, and pharmacokinetic exposures were checked. We found that increasing rifampin exposure above what is expected with the standard dose did not result in higher antimycobacterial activity. For rifapentine, only the highest concentration showed increased activity, but the clinical relevance of this observation is questionable. Moreover, for both drugs, the emergence of resistance was unrelated to exposure. In conclusion, in the simplest experimental setup, the results of the HFIM did not fully correspond to preexisting clinical data. The inclusion of additional parameters and readouts in this preclinical model could be of interest for proper assessment of the translational value of the HFIM.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02255-20
JournalAntimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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