Mechanisms of action of antituberculosis drugs in standard and short-course chemotherapy regimens

J. Grosset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The activity of the antituberculous drugs as the activity of the other antibacterial drugs can be assessed in the test tube, in the laboratory animal and in man. All together the results of these assessments give a relatively clear view of the mechanisms of action of the different antituberculosis drugs against all bacillary populations. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of each antituberculous drug can be adequately measured in a liquid medium with either bovine serum or bovine albumin that permits good growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and that contains no components as tween 80 that increase artificially the antibacterial activity of the drugs. Using such a medium isoniazid ranks first with the lowest MIC, followed by rifampicin, streptomycin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide. It should be emphasized that pyrazinamide has no activity at all when tested as the other drugs at a neutral pH and is active only at an acid pH. Another way to assess comparatively the antituberculous drugs is to study the ratio of the blood levels obtained in man on the MICs. Three drugs, namely isoniazid, rifampicin and streptomycin have extremely favourable ratios of the blood levels on the MICs. It can therefore be predicted that these three drugs will have the best bactericidal activity against tubercle bacillus in the test tube.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalRevista de Igiena Bacteriologie Virusologie Parazitologie Epidemiologie Pneumoftiziologie - Series Pneumoftiziologie
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanisms of action of antituberculosis drugs in standard and short-course chemotherapy regimens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this