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"Non-Antibiotics": Alternative Therapy for the Management of MDRTB and MRSA in Economically Disadvantaged Countries

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The antibiotic resistance is now common place throughout the globe. Two highly problematic antibiotic resistant infections are those produced by multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDRTB) and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Although vancomycin is useful for therapy of MRSA, there is now evidence that resistance to this antibiotic is taking place. Intracellular infections of MRSA are very difficult to manage and are recurrent especially when invasive prosthetic devices are employed. This mini-review provides cogent evidence that both intracellular MDRTB and intracellular MRSA can be killed by concentrations of the non-antibiotic phenothiazine, Thioridazine, at concentrations in the medium that are below those present in the plasma of patients treated with this agent. Although thioridazine has been claimed to cause arrhythmias and even sudden death, the frequencies of these episodes are rare and when present, they are related to the patients underlying cardiac status as opposed to the direct effect of the agent itself. The authors do not suggest that thioridazine be used indiscriminately for MDRTB or intracellular infections produced by MRSA. However, there are circumstances where there are no alternative forms of therapy and the patient faces an unfavourable prognosis. For these highly selective and controlled situations, the use of thioridazine in the manner employed for the therapy of psychosis is recommended (compassionate therapy).





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Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Staphylococcus aureus; antimicrobial activity; chlorpromazine; phenothiazines

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Unit of Mycobacteriology,Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa,Rua da Junqueira 96, 1349-008, Lisboa, Portugal.

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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