Unexpected activity of oral fosfomycin against resistant strains of Escherichia coli in murine pyelonephritis

Abstract : Fosfomycin tromethamine activity is well established for oral treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections, but little is known about its potential efficacy in pyelonephritis. Ascending pyelonephritis was induced in mice infected with 6 strains of Escherichia coli (fosfomycin MICs, 1 μg/ml to 256 μg/ml). The urine pH was 4.5 before infection and 5.5 to 6.0 during infection. Animals were treated for 24 h with fosfomycin (100 mg/kg of body weight subcutaneously every 4 h), and the CFU were enumerated in kidneys 24 h after the last fosfomycin injection. Peak (20.5 μg/ml at 1 h) and trough (3.5 μg/ml at 4 h) levels in plasma were comparable to those obtained in humans after an oral dose of 3 g. Fosfomycin treatment significantly reduced the bacterial loads in kidneys (3.65 log10 CFU/g [range, 1.83 to 7.03 log10 CFU/g] and 1.88 log10 CFU/g [range, 1.78 to 5.74 log10 CFU/g] in start-of-treatment control mice and treated mice, respectively; P < 10−6). However, this effect was not found to differ across the 6 study strains (P = 0.71) or between the 3 susceptible and the 3 resistant strains (P = 0.09). Three phenomena may contribute to explain this unexpected in vivo activity: (i) in mice, the fosfomycin kidney/plasma concentration ratio increased from 1 to 7.8 (95% confidence interval, 5.2, 10.4) within 24 h in vitro when the pH decreased to 5, (ii) the fosfomycin MICs for the 3 resistant strains (64 to 256 μg/ml) decreased into the susceptible range (16 to 32 μg/ml), and (iii) maximal growth rates significantly decreased for all strains and were the lowest in urine. These results suggest that local fosfomycin concentrations and physiological conditions may favor fosfomycin activity in pyelonephritis, even against resistant strains.
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Annabelle Pourbaix, Francois Guerin, Charles Burdet, Laurent Massias, Françoise Chau, et al.. Unexpected activity of oral fosfomycin against resistant strains of Escherichia coli in murine pyelonephritis. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, American Society for Microbiology, 2019, 63 (8), pp.e00903-19. ⟨10.1128/AAC.00903-19⟩. ⟨hal-02160294⟩

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