Efficacy of nitazoxanide against Cryptosporidium parvum in cell culture and in animal models.

Nitazoxanide (NTZ), a drug currently being tested in human clinical trials for efficacy against chronic cryptosporidiosis, was assessed in cell culture and in two animal models. The inhibitory activity of NTZ was compared with that of paromomycin (PRM), a drug that is partially effective against Cryptosporidium parvum. A concentration of 10 microg of NTZ/ml (32 microM) consistently reduced parasite growth in cell culture by more than 90% with little evidence of drug-associated cytotoxicity, in contrast to an 80% reduction produced by PRM at 2,000 microg/ml (3.2 mM). In contrast to its efficacy in vitro, NTZ at either 100 or 200 mg/kg of body weight/day for 10 days was ineffective at reducing the parasite burden in C. parvum-infected, anti-gamma-interferon-conditioned SCID mice. Combined treatment with NTZ and PRM was no more effective than treatment with PRM alone. Finally, NTZ was partially effective at reducing the parasite burden in a gnotobiotic piglet diarrhea model when given orally for 11 days at 250 mg/kg/day but not at 125 mg/kg/day. However, the higher dose of NTZ induced a drug-related diarrhea in piglets that might have influenced its therapeutic efficacy. As we have previously reported, PRM was effective at markedly reducing the parasite burden in piglets at a dosage of 500 mg/kg/day. Our results indicate that of all of the models tested, the piglet diarrhea model most closely mimics the partial response to NTZ treatment reported to occur in patients with chronic cryptosporidiosis.
AuthorsC M Theodos, J K Griffiths, J D'Onfro, A Fairfield, S Tzipori
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy (Antimicrob Agents Chemother) Vol. 42 Issue 8 Pg. 1959-65 (Aug 1998) ISSN: 0066-4804 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID9687390 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Thiazoles
  • nitazoxanide
  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents (pharmacology)
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cryptosporidiosis (drug therapy)
  • Cryptosporidium parvum (drug effects)
  • Diarrhea (drug therapy)
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Rabbits
  • Swine
  • Thiazoles (pharmacology, therapeutic use)

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