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Effect of clarithromycin in experimental empyema by multidrug‐resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Evidence from a recent randomized study of our group suggests that intravenous clarithromycin resulted in earlier resolution of ventilator‐associated pneumonia. The need to understand the mechanism of action of clarithromycin guided to the study of a model of experimental empyema by multidrug‐resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in 40 rabbits. Animals were randomized into controls (group A); treatment with clarithromycin (group B); treatment with piperacillin/tazobactam (group C); and treatment with both agents (group D). Pleural fluid was collected at regular time intervals for quantitative culture, estimation of cell apoptosis and of concentrations of tumour necrosis factor‐alpha (TNFα). After 7 days, animals were euthanized for estimation of tissue growth. Bacterial growth in the pleural fluid of group D was significantly decreased compared with the other groups on day 5. Lung growth of group D was lower than group A. That was also the case of cytokine stimulation by pleural fluid samples on U937 monocytes. It is concluded that administration of clarithromycin enhanced the antimicrobial efficacy of piperacillin/tazobactam and decreased bacterial growth in the pleural fluid and in tissues. It also attenuated the pro‐inflammatory phenomena induced by the β‐lactam.
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Keywords: Pseudomonas aeruginosa; clarithromycin; cytokines; β‐lactams

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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