We developed a new simple assay for the quantitation of the activities of drugs against intracellular Legionella pneumophila. The cells of a murine macrophage-like cell line (J774.1 cells) allowed the intracellular growth and replication of the bacteria, which ultimately resulted in cell death. The infected J774.1 cell monolayers in 96-well microplates wee first treated with antibiotics and were further cultured for 72 h. The number of viable J774.1 cells in each well was quantified by a colorimetric assay with 3- (4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay reader. The number of growing bacteria in each well was also determined by counting the numbers of CFU on buffered charcoal yeast extract-α agar plates. Viable J774.1 cell counts, determined by the colorimetric assay, were inversely proportional to the number of intracellular replicating bacteria. The minimum extracellular concentrations (MIECs) of 24 antibiotics causing inhibition of intracellular growth of L. pneumophila were determined by the colorimetric assay system. The MIECs of beta-lactams and aminoglycosides were markedly higher than the MICs in buffered yeast extract-α broth. The MIECs of macrolides, fluoroquinolones, rifampin, and minocycline were similar to the respective MICs. According to their intracellular activities, clarithromycin and sparfloxacin were the most potent among the macrolides or fluoroquinolones tested in this study. Our results indicated that the MTT assay system allows comparative and quantitative evaluations of the intracellular activities of the MTT assay system allows comparative and quantitative evaluations of the intracellular activities of antibiotics and efficient processing of a large number of samples.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)