About 90% of all cases of tuberculosis (TB) infection are comprised of latent mycobacterial persistence in the absence of clinical manifestations. In a proportion of latently infected individuals infection eventually reactivates and becomes contagious, seriously influencing epidemiological situation. Mechanisms of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transition to dormancy and TB reactivation are poorly understood, and biological markers of latency remain largely unknown. Data are accumulating that the dynamical equilibrium between the parasite and the host (expressed as a long term asymptomatic infection) and its abrogation (expressed as a reactivation disease) are genetically controlled by both parties. In this short review, the authors summarize the results of experimental studies on genetic regulation of the latent TB infection.
A phospholipid-based nanoemulsion formulation of SQ641 (SQ641-NE) was active against intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis in J774A.1 mouse macrophages, although SQ641 by itself was not. Intravenous (i.v.) SQ641-NE was cleared from circulation and reached peak concentrations in lung and spleen in 1 h. In a murine tuberculosis (TB) model, 8 i.v. doses of SQ641-NE at 100 mg/kg of body weight over 4 weeks caused a 1.73 log10 CFU reduction of M. tuberculosis in spleen and were generally bacteriostatic in lungs.
Mice as a species are susceptible to tuberculosis infection while mouse inbred strains present wide spectrum of susceptibility/resistance to this infection. However, non-tuberculosis Mycobacterial infections usually cannot be modeled in mice of common inbred strains. Introduction of specific properties, such as gene mutations, recombinants, targeted gene knockouts significantly extended the use of mice to mimic human Mycobacterial infections, including non-tuberculosis ones. This review describes the available mouse models of tuberculosis and non-tuberculosis infections and drug therapy in these models. Mouse models of non-tuberculosis infections are significantly less developed than tuberculosis models, hampering the development of therapies.
We recently reported that compounds created around a dipiperidine scaffold demonstrated activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) (Bogatcheva, E.; Hanrahan, C.; Chen, P.; Gearhart, J.; Sacksteder, K.; Einck, L.; Nacy, C.; Protopopova, M. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.2010, 20, 201). To optimize the dipiperidine compound series and to select a lead compound to advance into preclinical studies, we evaluated the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of our proprietary libraries. The (piperidin-4-ylmethyl)piperidine scaffold was an essential structural element required for antibacterial activity. Based on SAR, we synthesized a focused library of 313 new dipiperidines to delineate additional structural features responsible for antitubercular activity. Thirty new active compounds with MIC 10-20 ?g/ml on Mtb were identified, but none was better than the original hits of this series, SQ609, SQ614, and SQ615. In Mtb-infected macrophages in vitro, SQ609 and SQ614 inhibited more than 90% of intracellular bacterial growth at 4 ?g/ml; SQ615 was toxic to these cells. In mice infected with Mtb, weight loss was completely prevented by SQ609, but not SQ614, and SQ609 had a prolonged therapeutic effect, extended by 10-15 days, after cessation of therapy. Based on in vitro and in vivo antitubercular activity, SQ609 was identified as the best-in-class dipiperidine compound in the series.
Standard anti-tuberculosis (TB) drug therapy had distinct effects on the bacilli burden in mice of DBA/2, C3H, SWR/J, and C57BL/6 inbred strains. To standardize the TB infection process, susceptible DBA/2 mice were infected with 1/10 of the dose used for relatively resistant C57BL/6 mice, such that the lung CFUs were roughly identical 3 weeks after infection when therapy was initiated. We found that TB treatment was more effective in the susceptible DBA/2 mice than in the relatively resistant C57BL/6 mice.
New delivery vehicles and routes of delivery were developed for the capuramycin analogue SQ641. While this compound has remarkable in vitro potency against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it has low solubility in water and poor intracellular activity. We demonstrate here that SQ641 dissolved in the water-soluble vitamin E analogue alpha-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) or incorporated into TPGS-micelles has significant activity in a mouse model of tuberculosis.
We previously described primary tuberculosis in Sigmodon hispidus cotton rats up to 6 months following a pulmonary challenge. At that time, we observed fewer animals demonstrating disease as time from exposure progressed. We hypothesized that some cotton rats may control a primary infection to latency in a similar fashion to humans. The current experiment was designed to examine the natural progression of disease in S. hispidus at a later timepoint following a respiratory challenge with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). An additional objective was to test whether cotton rats may become latently infected, and to determine whether latent disease might be activated by cyclophosphamide induced immune suppression. Thirty-four percent of the inoculated cotton rats died prior to 9 months following the challenge. However, 50% of immunocompetent animals surviving past 9 months demonstrated positive lung tissue cultures for Mtb without histologic evidence of disease. None of the immunosuppressed animals demonstrated this pattern. These findings are consistent with the development of latent tuberculosis infection in some cotton rats. Furthermore, it appears reactivation of disease occurs with cyclophosphamide induced immunosuppression. Cotton rats may serve as a model for latent as well as active tuberculosis infection.
Chronic helminth infections induce a Th2 immune shift and establish an immunoregulatory milieu. As both of these responses can suppress Th1 immunity, which is necessary for control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection, we hypothesized that chronic helminth infections may exacerbate the course of MTB.
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