We induced endogenous Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteremia by administering cyclophosphamide and ampicillin to specific pathogen-free mice fed P. aeruginosa. Using this model, we evaluated the efficacy of erythromycin lactobionate (EML) in treating P. aeruginosa bacteremia. Treatment with EML at 50 and 100 mg/kg of body weight per day twice a day for 14 days significantly increased the survival rate. The most effective dose was 100 mg/kg/day, with a survival rate of 80% compared with a 20% survival rate in the control. However, the administration of EML at 500 mg/kg/day rather decreased the survival rate. In a model of intravenous infection, treatment with EML at 100 mg/kg/day twice a day for 7 days before the bacterial challenge also enhanced the survival rate. EML levels in serum, liver, and stool were apparently lower than the MIC (512 μg/ml). These observations suggest that EML is effective against P. aeruginosa bacteremia despite a lack of specific activity for this pathogen. Although the protective mechanism is still unclear, it is possible that a subinhibitory level of EML may affect the virulence of P. aeruginosa and enhance the host defense system.
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