Antimicrobial activities of mefloquine and a series of related compounds.

Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (Impact Factor: 4.57). 05/2000; 44(4):848-52. DOI: 10.1128/AAC.44.4.848-852.2000
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mefloquine was found to have bactericidal activity against methicillin- and fluoroquinolone-susceptible and -resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis and gentamicin- and vancomycin-resistant strains of Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. The MICs were 16 microg/ml, and the minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were 16 to 32 microg/ml. These concentrations cannot be achieved in serum. Mefloquine was active at a more achievable concentration against penicillin-susceptible and -resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, with MICs of 0.2 to 1.5 microg/ml. Mefloquine was not active against gram-negative bacteria and yeasts. In an attempt to find more active derivatives, 400 mefloquine-related compounds were selected from the chemical inventory of The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. We identified a series of compounds containing a piperidine methanol group attached to pyridine, quinoline, and benzylquinoline ring systems. These had activities similar to that of mefloquine against S. pneumoniae but were far more active against other gram-positive bacteria (MICs for staphylococci, 0.8 to 6.3 microg/ml). They had activities similar to that of amphotericin B against Candida spp. and Cryptococcus neoformans. Combinations of the compounds with gentamicin and vancomycin were additive against staphylococci and pneumococci. The MIC and MBC of gentamicin were decreased by four- to eightfold when this drug was combined with limiting dilutions of the compounds. There was no antagonism with other antimicrobial drugs. The compounds were rapidly bactericidal. They appear to act by disrupting cell membranes. Combinations of the compounds with aminoglycoside antibiotics may have potential for therapeutic use.

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