Nifurtimox plus pyrimethamine for treatment of murine toxoplasmosis.

In the search for novel antitoxoplasmic agents, we evaluated the efficacy of nifurtimox (3-methyl-4[5'-nitrofurfurylidene-amino]-tetrahydroe-4H-1,4- thiazine-1,1-dioxide), an antiprotozoal drug effective against trypanosomiasis, in an experimental model of acute toxoplasmosis in mice. One hundred NIH mice were inoculated intraperitoneally, each with 2,614 RH tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii, and randomly allocated into 5 groups (n = 19-21). Animals from each group were orally treated for 10 days either with nifurtimox 25 mg/kg/day (NF1), nifurtimox 50 mg/kg/day (NF2), pyrimethamine 60 mg/kg/day (P), the combination nifurtimox 50 mg/kg/day plus pyrimethamine 60 mg/kg/day (NF2-P), or with corn oil (controls). Survival of mice was recorded daily for 1 mo after the experimental infection. Comparisons of cumulative mortality between groups were made applying the chi2 test. Mean survival time was longer in animals from P and NF2-P groups than those from NF1, NF2, and control groups. Cumulative mortality was less in mice from the NF2-P group (25%), than that in mice from the P (65%), the NF1 (100%), the NF2 (89%), or the control (95%) groups (P < 0.01). The doses of nifurtimox used in the present study were not significantly effective against murine toxoplasmosis. However, when combined with pyrimethamine, a strong anti-toxoplasma effect was obtained in comparison with survival rates associated with pyrimethamine or nifurtimox alone. It seems feasible that nifurtimox inhibits the replication of T. gondii tachyzoites similar to that of other protozoans, e.g., Trypanosoma and Leishmania. It will be important to determine if the reduction of mortality in mice treated with the nifurtimox-pyrimethamine combination results from summation or from synergism. Further studies on the toxic mechanisms exerted by nifurtimox on T. gondii seem warranted.
AuthorsL Aguirre-Cruz, O Velasco, J Sotelo
JournalThe Journal of parasitology (J Parasitol) Vol. 84 Issue 5 Pg. 1032-3 (Oct 1998) ISSN: 0022-3395 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID9794648 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Nifurtimox
  • Pyrimethamine
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nifurtimox (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Pyrimethamine (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Random Allocation
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal (drug therapy, mortality)

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