Development of Liposomal Ciprofloxacin to Treat Lung Infections.
ABSTRACT: Except for management of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) in cystic fibrosis, there are no approved inhaled antibiotic treatments for any other diseases or for infections from other pathogenic microorganisms such as tuberculosis, non-tuberculous mycobacteria, fungal infections or potential inhaled biowarfare agents including Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Coxiella burnetii (which cause pneumonic tularemia, plague and Q fever, respectively). Delivery of an antibiotic formulation via the inhalation route has the potential to provide high concentrations at the site of infection with reduced systemic exposure to limit side effects. A liposomal formulation may improve tolerability, increase compliance by reducing the dosing frequency, and enhance penetration of biofilms and treatment of intracellular infections. Two liposomal ciprofloxacin formulations (Lipoquin(®) and Pulmaquin(®)) that are in development by Aradigm Corporation are described here.
Project description:Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative bacterium that is the etiologic agent of tularemia in animals and humans and a Tier 1 select agent. The natural incidence of pneumonic tularemia worldwide is very low; therefore, it is not feasible to conduct clinical efficacy testing of tularemia medical countermeasures (MCM) in human populations. Development and licensure of tularemia therapeutics and vaccines need to occur under the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Animal Rule under which efficacy studies are conducted in well-characterized animal models that reflect the pathophysiology of human disease. The Tularemia Animal Model Qualification (AMQ) Working Group is seeking qualification of the cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis) model of pneumonic tularemia under Drug Development Tools Qualification Programs with the FDA based upon the results of studies described in this manuscript. Analysis of data on survival, average time to death, average time to fever onset, average interval between fever and death, and bacteremia; together with summaries of clinical signs, necropsy findings, and histopathology from the animals exposed to aerosolized F. tularensis Schu S4 in five natural history studies and one antibiotic efficacy study form the basis for the proposed cynomolgus macaque model. Results support the conclusion that signs of pneumonic tularemia in cynomolgus macaques exposed to 300-3,000 colony forming units (cfu) aerosolized F. tularensis Schu S4, under the conditions described herein, and human pneumonic tularemia cases are highly similar. Animal age, weight, and sex of animals challenged with 300-3,000 cfu Schu S4 did not impact fever onset in studies described herein. This study summarizes critical parameters and endpoints of a well-characterized cynomolgus macaque model of pneumonic tularemia and demonstrates this model is appropriate for qualification, and for testing efficacy of tularemia therapeutics under Animal Rule.
Project description:Pneumonic plague is an infectious disease characterized by rapid and fulminant development of acute pneumonia and septicemia that results in death within days of exposure. The causative agent of pneumonic plague, Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), is a Tier-1 bio-threat agent. Parenteral antibiotic treatment is effective when given within a narrow therapeutic window after symptom onset. However, the non-specific "flu-like" symptoms often lead to delayed diagnosis and therapy. In this study, we evaluated inhalational gentamicin therapy in an infected mouse model as a means to improve antibiotic treatment efficacy. Inhalation is an attractive route for treating lung infections. The advantages include directly dosing the main infection site, the relative accessibility for administration and the lack of extensive enzymatic drug degradation machinery. In this study, we show that inhalational gentamicin treatment administered 24 h post-infection, prior to the appearance of symptoms, protected against lethal intranasal challenge with the fully virulent Y. pestis Kimberley53 strain (Kim53). Similarly, a high survival rate was demonstrated in mice treated by inhalation with another aminoglycoside, tobramycin, for which an FDA-approved inhaled formulation is clinically available for cystic fibrosis patients. Inhalational treatment with gentamicin 48 h post-infection (to symptomatic mice) was also successful against a Y. pestis challenge dose of 10 i.n.LD50. Whole-body imaging using IVIS technology demonstrated that adding inhalational gentamicin to parenteral therapy accelerated the clearance of Y. pestis from the lungs of infected animals. This may reduce disease severity and the risk of secondary infections. In conclusion, our data suggest that inhalational therapy with aerosolized gentamicin may be an effective prophylactic treatment against pneumonic plague. We also demonstrate the benefit of combining this treatment with a conventional parenteral treatment against this rapidly progressing infectious disease. We suggest the inhalational administration route as a clinically relevant treatment modality against pneumonic plague and other respiratory bacterial pathogens.
Project description:Successful treatment of pneumonic infection with Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, requires rapid initiation of antibiotic therapy, yet even then treatment failures may occur. Consequently, new treatments are needed to enhance the effectiveness of antimicrobial therapy for acute pneumonic tularemia. In a prior study, immunization with F. tularensis membrane protein fraction (MPF) antigens 3 days prior to challenge was reported to induce significant protection from inhalational challenge. We therefore hypothesized that MPF immunization might also be effective in enhancing infection control if combined with antibiotic therapy and administered after infection as post-exposure immunotherapy. To address this question, a 24h post-exposure treatment model of acute pulmonary Schu S4 strain of F. tularensis infection in BALB/c mice was used. Following exposure, mice were immunized with MPF and treated with low-dose gentamicin, alone or in combination and the effects on survival, bacterial burden and dissemination were assessed. We found that immunization with MPF significantly increased the effectiveness of subtherapeutic gentamicin for post-exposure treatment of pneumonic tularemia, with 100% of combination-treated mice surviving long-term. Bacterial burdens in the liver and spleen were significantly reduced in combination MPF-gentamicin treated mice at 7 days after challenge. Passively transferred antibodies against MPF antigens also increased the effectiveness of gentamicin therapy. Thus, we concluded that post-exposure immunization with MPF antigens was an effective means of enhancing conventional antimicrobial therapy for pneumonic tularemia.
Project description:Francisella tularensis, a gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen, is the causative agent of tularemia and able to infect many mammalian species, including humans. Because of its ability to cause a lethal infection, low infectious dose, and aerosolizable nature, F. tularensis subspecies tularensis is considered a potential biowarfare agent. Due to its in vitro efficacy, ciprofloxacin is one of the antibiotics recommended for post-exposure prophylaxis of tularemia. In order to identify therapeutics that will be efficacious against infections caused by drug resistant select-agents and to better understand the threat, we sought to characterize an existing ciprofloxacin resistant (CipR) mutant in the Schu S4 strain of F. tularensis by determining its phenotypic characteristics and sequencing the chromosome to identify additional genetic alterations that may have occurred during the selection process. In addition to the previously described genetic alterations, the sequence of the CipR mutant strain revealed several additional mutations. Of particular interest was a frameshift mutation within kdsD which encodes for an enzyme necessary for the production of 3-Deoxy-D-manno-Octulosonic Acid (KDO), an integral component of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A kdsD mutant was constructed in the Schu S4 strain. Although it was not resistant to ciprofloxacin, the kdsD mutant shared many phenotypic characteristics with the CipR mutant, including growth defects under different conditions, sensitivity to hydrophobic agents, altered LPS profiles, and attenuation in multiple models of murine tularemia. This study demonstrates that the KdsD enzyme is essential for Francisella virulence and may be an attractive therapeutic target for developing novel medical countermeasures.
Project description:We determined whether Francisella spp. are present in water, sediment, and soil from an active tularemia natural focus on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, during a multiyear outbreak of pneumonic tularemia. Environmental samples were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting Francisella species 16S rRNA gene and succinate dehydrogenase A (sdhA) sequences; evidence of the agent of tularemia was sought by amplification of Francisella tularensis-specific sequences for the insertion element ISFTu2, 17-kDa protein gene tul4, and the 43-kDa outer membrane protein gene fopA. Evidence of F. tularensis subsp. tularensis, the causative agent of the human infections in this outbreak, was not detected from environmental samples despite its active transmission among ticks and animals in the sampling site. Francisella philomiragia was frequently detected from a brackish-water pond using Francisella species PCR targets, and subsequently F. philomiragia was isolated from an individual brackish-water sample. Distinct Francisella sp. sequences that are closely related to F. tularensis and Francisella novicida were detected from samples collected from the brackish-water pond. We conclude that diverse Francisella spp. are present in the environment where human cases of pneumonic tularemia occur.
Project description:Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis, which is transmitted to humans most commonly by contact with infected animals, tick bites, or inhalation of aerosolized bacteria. F. tularensis is highly infectious via the aerosol route; inhalation of as few as 10-50 organisms can cause pneumonic tularemia. Left untreated, the pneumonic form has more than >30% case-fatality rate but with early antibiotic intervention can be reduced to 3%. This study compared tularemia disease progression across three species of nonhuman primates [African green monkey (AGM), cynomolgus macaque (CM), and rhesus macaque (RM)] following aerosolized F. tularensis Schu S4 exposure. Groups of the animals exposed to various challenge doses were observed for clinical signs of infection and blood samples were analyzed to characterize the disease pathogenesis. Whereas the AGMs and CMs succumbed to disease following challenge doses of 40 and 32 colony forming units (CFU), respectively, the RM lethal dose was 276,667 CFU. Following all challenge doses that caused disease, the NHPs experienced weight loss, bacteremia, fever as early as 4 days post exposure, and tissue burden. Necrotizing-to-pyogranulomatous lesions were observed most commonly in the lung, lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. Overall, the CM model consistently manifested pathological responses similar to those resulting from inhalation of F. tularensis in humans and thereby most closely emulates human tularemia disease. The RM model displayed a higher tolerance to infection and survived exposures of up to 15,593 CFU of aerosolized F. tularensis.
Project description:The inbred Fischer 344 rat is being evaluated for testing novel vaccines and therapeutics against pneumonic tularemia. Although primary pneumonic tularemia in humans typically occurs by inhalation of aerosolized bacteria, the rat model has relied on intratracheal inoculation of organisms because of safety and equipment issues. We now report the natural history of pneumonic tularemia in female Fischer 344 rats after nose-only inhalational exposure to lethal doses of aerosolized Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis, strain SCHU S4. Our results are consistent with initial uptake of aerosolized SCHU S4 from the nasal cavity, lungs, and possibly the gastrointestinal tract. Bacteremia with hematogenous dissemination was first detected 2 days after exposure. Shortly thereafter, the infected rats exhibited fever, tachypnea, and hypertension that persisted for 24 to 36 hours and then rapidly decreased as animals succumbed to infection between days 5 and 8 after exposure. Tachycardia was observed briefly, but only after the core body temperature and blood pressure began to decrease as the animals were near death. Initial neutrophilic and histiocytic inflammation in affected tissues became progressively more fibrinous and necrotizing over time. At death, as many as 1010 colony-forming units were found in the lungs, spleen, and liver. Death was attributed to sepsis and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Overall, the pathogenesis of pneumonic tularemia in the female F344 rat model appears to replicate the disease in humans.
Project description:Francisella tularensis is the etiological agent of tularemia, a serious and occasionally fatal disease of humans and animals. In humans, ulceroglandular tularemia is the most common form of the disease and is usually a consequence of a bite from an arthropod vector which has previously fed on an infected animal. The pneumonic form of the disease occurs rarely but is the likely form of the disease should this bacterium be used as a bioterrorism agent. The diagnosis of disease is not straightforward. F. tularensis is difficult to culture, and the handling of this bacterium poses a significant risk of infection to laboratory personnel. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay- and PCR-based methods have been used to detect bacteria in clinical samples, but these methods have not been adequately evaluated for the diagnosis of pneumonic tularemia. Little is known about the virulence mechanisms of F. tularensis, though there is a large body of evidence indicating that it is an intracellular pathogen, surviving mainly in macrophages. An unlicensed live attenuated vaccine is available, which does appear to offer protection against ulceroglandular and pneumonic tularemia. Although an improved vaccine against tularemia is highly desirable, attempts to devise such a vaccine have been limited by the inability to construct defined allelic replacement mutants and by the lack of information on the mechanisms of virulence of F. tularensis. In the absence of a licensed vaccine, aminoglycoside antibiotics play a key role in the prevention and treatment of tularemia.
Project description:A respiratory infection caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be life-threatening. In recent years, there has been tremendous effort put towards therapeutic application of bacteriophages (phages) as an alternative or supplementary treatment option over conventional antibiotics. Phages are natural parasitic viruses of bacteria that can kill the bacterial host, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Inhaled phage therapy involves the development of stable phage formulations suitable for inhalation delivery followed by preclinical and clinical studies for assessment of efficacy, pharmacokinetics and safety. We presented an overview of recent advances in phage formulation for inhalation delivery and their efficacy in acute and chronic rodent respiratory infection models. We have reviewed and presented on the prospects of inhaled phage therapy as a complementary treatment option with current antibiotics and as a preventative means. Inhaled phage therapy has the potential to transform the prevention and treatment of bacterial respiratory infections, including those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Project description:Inhalation of Yersinia pestis can lead to pneumonic plague, which without treatment is inevitably fatal. Two novel formulations of liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin, 'ciprofloxacin for inhalation' (CFI, Lipoquin®) and 'dual release ciprofloxacin for inhalation' (DRCFI, Pulmaquin®) containing CFI and ciprofloxacin solution, are in development. These were evaluated as potential therapies for infection with Y. pestis. In a murine model of pneumonic plague, human-like doses of aerosolized CFI, aerosolized DRCFI or intraperitoneal (i.p.) ciprofloxacin were administered at 24 h (representing prophylaxis) or 42 h (representing treatment) post-challenge. All three therapies provided a high level of protection when administered 24 h post-challenge. A single dose of CFI, but not DRCFI, significantly improved survival compared to a single dose of ciprofloxacin. Furthermore, single doses of CFI and DRCFI reduced bacterial burden in lungs and spleens to below the detectable limit at 60 h post-challenge. When therapy was delayed until 42 h post-challenge, a single dose of CFI or DRCFI offered minimal protection. However, single doses of CFI or DRCFI were able to significantly reduce the bacterial burden in the spleen compared to empty liposomes. A three-day treatment regimen of ciprofloxacin, CFI, or DRCFI resulted in high levels of protection (90-100% survival). This study suggests that CFI and DRCFI may be useful therapies for Y. pestis infection, both as prophylaxis and for the treatment of plague.