A whole blood bactericidal assay for tuberculosis

R. S. Wallis, M. Palaci, S. Vinhas, A. G. Hise, F. C. Ribeiro, K. Landen, S. H. Cheon, H. Y. Song, M. Phillips, R. Dietze, J. J. Elner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The bactericidal activity of orally administered antituberculosis (anti-TB) drugs was determined in a whole blood culture model of intracellular infection in which microbial killing reflects the combined effects of drug and immune mechanisms. Rifampin (Rif) was the most active compound studied and reduced the number of viable bacilli by >4 logs. Isoniazid (INH), 2 quinolones, and pyrazinamide (PZA) showed intermediate levels of activity. Ethambutol exerted only a bacteristatic effect; amoxicillin/clavulanate was inactive. The combination of INH-Rif-PZA showed strong activity against 11 drug-sensitive isolates (mean, -3.8 log) but no activity against 12 multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains. The combination of levofloxacin-PZA-ethambutol had intermediate bactericidal activity against MDR isolates (mean, -1.2 log) but failed to equal that of INH-Rif-PZA against sensitive isolates (P <.001). The whole blood BACTEC method (Becton Dickinson) may be useful for the early clinical evaluation of new anti-TB drugs and in the management of individual patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1300-1303
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology


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