Timo Vaara

Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Province of Southern Finland, Finland

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Publications (10)39.76 Total impact

  • Martti Vaara, Timo Vaara
    International journal of antimicrobial agents 11/2012; · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: In spite of reported nephrotoxicity, polymyxins have been reinstated as the last-line therapy to treat infections caused by Gram-negative bacterial strains that are resistant to other agents. NAB739 has a cyclic portion identical to that of polymyxin B, but its linear peptide portion consists of threonyl-d-serinyl instead of diaminobutyryl-threonyl-diaminobutyryl. Therefore, NAB739 lacks both of the positive charges present in the linear part of polymyxin B. Here, we compare the antibacterial activity of NAB739 with that of polymyxin B against a representative collection of contemporary Gram-negative bacteria. METHODS: NAB739 and polymyxin B MIC values were determined for 310 clinical isolates by the reference broth microdilution method according to CLSI document M07-A9 (2012). RESULTS: MIC(90)s of NAB739 for the subset consisting of polymyxin-susceptible (MIC, ≤2 mg/L) clinical isolates of Escherichia coli (n = 51), Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 50), Acinetobacter spp. (n = 49) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 49) were 2, 2, 8 and 16 mg/L, respectively. For polymyxin-non-susceptible strains of E. coli (n = 12), K. pneumoniae (n = 11), Acinetobacter spp. (n = 11) and P. aeruginosa (n = 14) the NAB739 MIC(90) was ≥64 mg/L. CONCLUSIONS: The MIC(90) of NAB739 for polymyxin-susceptible strains of E. coli and K. pneumoniae was identical to and 2-fold higher than that of polymyxin B, respectively. For polymyxin-susceptible strains of Acinetobacter spp. and P. aeruginosa, the MIC(90) of NAB739 was 4-fold and 8-fold higher than that of polymyxin B, respectively. For polymyxin-non-susceptible strains of all these species, the MIC(90) values of NAB739 were high and 2- to 4-fold higher than those of polymyxin B.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 11/2012; · 5.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of very multiresistant Gram-negative bacterial strains has reinstated polymyxins (polymyxin B, colistin), pentacationic lipopeptides, in the therapy, in spite of their nephrotoxicity. Extensive tubular reabsorption concentrates polymyxin in proximal tubular cells. The novel polymyxin derivatives NAB739, NAB7061 and NAB741 have their cyclic part identical to that of polymyxin B, but their side chain consists of uncharged octanoyl-threonyl-d-serinyl, octanoyl-threonyl-aminobutyryl, and acetyl-threonyl-D-serinyl respectively. In this study, we compared the toxicities of NAB739, NAB7061 and NAB741 with that of polymyxin B by using the porcine renal proximal tubular cell line LLC-PK1 electroporated or incubated with the selected compound. Both the ability to cause cell necrosis (quantified as the leakage of lactate dehydrogenase) and the ability to cause apoptosis (as quantified by counting apoptotic nuclei) were assessed. In electroporated cells, polymyxin B induced total (>85%) necrosis of the cells at 0.016 mM, whereas an approx. 8-fold concentration of NAB739 and NAB7961 and an approx. 32-fold concentration of NAB741 was required for the same effect. In cells treated without electroporation (incubated), polymyxin B elicited a marked degree (approx. 50%) of necrosis at 0.5mM, whereas the NAB compounds were inert even at 1mM. Neither polymyxin B nor the NAB compounds induced apoptosis.
    Peptides 04/2012; 35(2):248-52. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymyxin B nonapeptide was able to sensitize Escherichia coli strains and strains of Salmonella typhimurium, Klebsiella spp., Enterobacter cloacae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Haemophilus influenzae to the bactericidal action of fresh normal human serum. The degree of sensitization varied significantly within the strains. Strains of Proteus mirabilis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and N. meningitidis remained resistant.
    Canadian Journal of Microbiology 02/2011; 32(1):66-69. · 1.20 Impact Factor
  • Martti Vaara, Timo Vaara
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    ABSTRACT: Polymyxin B and colistin are pentacationic lipopeptides that possess a cyclic heptapeptide portion, a linear tripeptide portion, and a fatty acyl tail. They are used, in spite of nephrotoxicity, to treat infections caused by extremely multiresistant Gram-negative bacteria. We have recently developed novel derivatives, that carry three cationic charges only. Some of them, including NAB739, are directly antibacterial whereas others, including NAB7061, lack the direct activity but sensitize bacteria to other antibiotics. NAB739 and NAB7061 differ from the old polymyxins in their renal handling and have reduced affinity to kidney brush border membrane. To further study the structure-activity relationships, we here synthesized eight additional derivatives and tested their antibacterial activity. NAB751 carries methylheptanoyl as the fatty acyl instead of octanoyl in NAB739 and was as active as NAB739, whereas NAB750 with dodecanoyl was less active. NAB781 and NAB782 with the linear peptide portion Ser-DSer and Ser-Ser-DSer, respectively, were less active than NAB739 that carries Thr-DSer. NAB771 with Thr at position 8 in the cyclic portion (instead of Dab in NAB7061) and Thr-Dab as the linear peptide portion (instead of Thr-Abu in NAB7061), resembled NAB7061 in its activity. However, replacement of two Dab residues in the cyclic portion with Thr greatly decreased the activity, even though the loss of the cationic charges was compensated by introducing two Dab residues in the linear portion. These findings reveal that subtle structural modifications have a major effect on the antibacterial activity and that it is possible to design numerous tricationic polymyxin derivatives that are antibacterial.
    Peptides 12/2010; 31(12):2318-21. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymyxins are cationic lipopeptides (five cationic charges) and the last resort for the treatment of serious Gram-negative infections caused by multiresistant strains. NAB741 has a cyclic peptide portion identical to that of polymyxin B but carries in the linear peptide portion a threonyl-D-serinyl residue (no cationic charges) instead of the diaminobutyryl-threonyl-diaminobutyryl residue (two cationic charges). At the N terminus of the peptide, NAB741 carries an acetyl group instead of a mixture of methyl octanoyl and methyl heptanoyl residues. NAB741 sensitized Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, and Acinetobacter baumannii to antibiotics against which the intact outer membrane is an effective permeability barrier. When tested by using Etest strips on plates containing increasing concentrations of NAB741, the fractional inhibition concentration index (FICI) of the combination of NAB741 with rifampin ranged from <or=0.111 to 0.158 and that with clarithromycin from <or=0.094 to 0.292. When tested by the checkerboard method, the corresponding FICI values against E. coli ATCC 25922 were <or=0.141 to <or=0.155 with rifampin and 0.094 with clarithromycin. In addition, at 4 microg/ml, NAB741 decreased the MICs of azithromycin, mupirocin, fusidic acid, and vancomycin for E. coli strains and E. cloacae by factors ranging from 8 to 200. A sister peptide, NAB752, carrying a threonyl-aminobutyryl residue as the linear peptide portion, was inactive. Furthermore, NAB741 sensitized E. coli to the bactericidal activity of fresh guinea pig serum. The renal clearance of NAB741 was approximately 400-fold, 16-fold, and 8-fold higher than those measured for colistin, NAB7061, and NAB739, respectively.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 08/2010; 54(8):3341-6. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Novel synthetic polymyxin derivatives including NAB737 and NAB739 are as effective as polymyxin B in vitro against the common opportunistic pathogen Escherichia coli. Another derivative, NAB7061, lacks direct antibacterial action but sensitizes E. coli to several other antibacterial agents including macrolides. The renal handling of NAB739 and NAB7061 in rats differs from that of polymyxin B. Furthermore, the affinities of NAB739 and NAB7061 for isolated rat kidney brush border membrane are significantly lower than that of polymyxin B. Here we investigate the in vivo antibacterial effect of these compounds. The polymyxin derivatives were evaluated in an experimental murine peritonitis model. Immunocompetent mice were infected intraperitoneally with E. coli IH3080 and were subcutaneously treated with NAB737, NAB739 or NAB7061. A >4.0 log(10) reduction in bacterial load compared with saline control was achieved 6 h after initiation of treatment with 1 mg/kg of NAB739 twice or 4 mg/kg of NAB737 twice. Combination therapy with NAB7061 (5 mg/kg) twice and erythromycin (10 mg/kg) resulted during the same time course in a >2.0 log(10) reduction in bacterial load compared with saline control. Neither NAB7061 nor erythromycin was effective as monotherapy. Together with the ability to reduce bacterial load, the NAB compounds also improved the clinical status of the mice. We found that the three novel synthetic polymyxin B derivatives had a potent in vivo bactericidal effect against E. coli.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 03/2010; 65(5):981-5. · 5.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the susceptibility of carbapenemase-producing strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli to the direct antibacterial activity of NAB739 and to the synergistic activity of NAB7061 with rifampicin and clarithromycin. NAB739 and NAB7061 are novel polymyxin derivatives that lack the cationic charges in the linear peptide portion of polymyxin B and have pharmacokinetic properties different from those of polymyxin B. MIC determinations were performed by the agar dilution method using CLSI guidelines. Polymyxin B was used as a comparison. Synergism studies measured fractional inhibitory concentration indices (FICIs) by using increasing concentrations of the compounds in Mueller-Hinton agar and Etests. The MICs of NAB739 for all nine polymyxin-susceptible, carbapenemase-producing strains were identical or very close to those determined for E. coli ATCC 25922, for K. pneumoniae ATCC 13883, as well as for 18 clinical carbapenem-susceptible isolates. At a concentration of 4 mg/L, NAB7061 decreased the MIC of rifampicin and clarithromycin for all carbapenemase strains by factors ranging from 6 to 500. The polymyxin-resistant strain K. pneumoniae CL5762B was sensitized by a factor of 24 to rifampicin (FICI, 0.167) and by a factor of 12 to clarithromycin (FICI, 0.208). Polymyxin-susceptible, carbapenemase-producing strains are as susceptible to NAB739 as are the carbapenem-susceptible clinical isolates. In addition, NAB7061 has notable synergism with rifampicin and clarithromycin against all the carbapenemase-producing strains tested, including the polymyxin-resistant K. pneumoniae strain.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 02/2010; 65(5):942-5. · 5.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the disposition of novel antimicrobial cationic peptides NAB 7061 and NAB 739 following intravenous administration in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats received a single intravenous bolus of 1.0 mg/kg NAB 7061 or NAB 739. Plasma concentrations of NAB 7061 or NAB 739 were determined by HPLC or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The pharmacokinetic parameters of NAB 7061 and NAB 739 were calculated using non-compartmental analysis. Corresponding total body clearance, volume of distribution at steady state and terminal half-life of NAB 7061 and NAB 739 averaged 3.84 and 2.63 mL/min/kg, 339 and 222 mL/kg, and 66.2 and 69.0 min, respectively. Approximately 7.16% and 19.4% of the dose was eliminated in an unchanged form via the urine in 24 h for NAB 7061 and NAB 739, respectively. While both compounds had generally similar pharmacokinetics to colistin, even minor alterations in the chemical structures appear to have an impact on their pharmacokinetics, especially on their clearance by the kidney. There are also substantial differences in relation to the relative contributions of renal and non-renal clearance to overall elimination from the body.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 10/2009; 64(5):1067-70. · 5.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The lack of novel antibiotics against gram-negative bacteria has reinstated polymyxins as the drugs of last resort to treat serious infections caused by extremely multiresistant gram-negative organisms. However, polymyxins are nephrotoxic, and this feature may complicate therapy or even require its discontinuation. Like that of aminoglycosides, the nephrotoxicity of polymyxins might be related to the highly cationic nature of the molecule. Colistin and polymyxin B carry five positive charges. Here we show that novel polymyxin derivatives carrying only three positive charges are effective antibacterial agents. NAB739 has a cyclic peptide portion identical to that of polymyxin B, but in the linear portion of the peptide, it carries the threonyl-D-serinyl residue (no cationic charges) instead of the diaminobutyryl-threonyl-diaminobutyryl residue (two cationic charges). The MICs of NAB739 for 17 strains of Escherichia coli were identical, or very close, to those of polymyxin B. Furthermore, NAB739 was effective against other polymyxin-susceptible strains of Enterobacteriaceae and against Acinetobacter baumannii. At subinhibitory concentrations, it dramatically sensitized A. baumannii to low concentrations of antibiotics such as rifampin, clarithromycin, vancomycin, fusidic acid, and meropenem. NAB739 methanesulfonate was a prodrug analogous to colistin methanesulfonate. NAB740 was the most active derivative against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. NAB7061 (linear portion of the peptide, threonyl-aminobutyryl) lacked direct antibacterial activity but sensitized the targets to hydrophobic antibiotics by factors up to 2,000. The affinities of the NAB compounds for isolated rat kidney brush border membrane were significantly lower than that of polymyxin B.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 07/2008; 52(9):3229-36. · 4.57 Impact Factor