The effect of azithromycin and erythromycin on growth, cell surface hydrophobicity and the susceptibility to the bactericidal activity of human polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNL) was examined in four species. Exposure to either 10 x MIC azithromycin or erythromycin induced a post-antibiotic effect (PAE) of between 2.4 and 4.3 h. Erythromycin caused a longer PAE for than azithromycin under the same conditions. The cell surface charge (hydrophobic or hydrophilic) of the streptococci was altered significantly during PAE; loss of hydrophobicity was induced by both macrolides, and this effect was variable amongst the species. The decrease in hydrophobicity was not related to inhibition of growth. The effect of each drug during PAE on the interaction of opsonised suspensions of the streptococci with human PMNL revealed that erythromycin, and to a lesser extent azithromycin, increased susceptibility to the bactericidal activity of human PMNL; this effect was abolished following PAE. The present study clearly showed that PAE should not only be considered as delayed bacterial growth, but also as modulation of bacterial susceptibility to phagocytosis which may influence the outcome of the host-parasite relationship.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error