Synergistic activity of azithromycin and pyrimethamine or sulfadiazine in acute experimental toxoplasmosis.Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1992; 36(5):997-1001AA
The efficacy of azithromycin administered alone or combined with pyrimethamine or sulfadiazine was examined in a murine model of acute toxoplasmosis. Outbred Swiss mice acutely infected with tachyzoites of the virulent RH strain were treated for 10 days from day +1 postinfection. The efficacy of each regimen was assessed in terms of survival rates and sequential titration of parasites in blood, brain, and lungs by using a tissue culture method. Administration of azithromycin at 300, 150, or 75 mg/kg of body weight per day resulted in prolonged survival relative to that of untreated controls; sequential examination of parasite burden showed early eradiaction of Toxoplasma gondii from the lungs, whereas dissemination to the brain was not prevented. A remarkable synergistic effect was observed when azithromycin (150 mg/kg/day) was administered in combination with pyrimethamine or sulfadiazine at noncurative dosages, i.e., 12.5 and 200 mg/kg/day, respectively. In mice treated with azithromycin plus sulfadiazine and azithromycin plus pyrimethamine, parasite burdens in blood and organs, relapses after cessation of therapy, and mortality were all markedly reduced relative to mice treated with any of the agents alone. These results show that azithromycin, which is remarkably active on pulmonary Toxoplasma infection, significantly potentiates the curative effect of sulfadiazine or pyrimethamine.