SUMMARY: A synthetic derivative of muramoyl dipeptide, 6--stearoyl--acetylmuramoyl--alanyl--iso-glutamine [L18-MDP(A)], showed a protective effect against bacteraemic and non-bacteraemic pneumonia caused by in immunosuppressed guinea pigs. In about half of the animals treated with the compound before infection, death from bacteraemic pneumonia produced by intratracheal inoculation of was delayed for 7 d, although all of the animals infected without prior treatment with the compound died within 4 d of infection. Multiplication of the organisms in the lung was also suppressed for at least 10 d by treatment with the compound when the animals inhaled an aerosol of . In contrast, in untreated animals the numbers of bacteria in the lung gradually increased from 10 to 10 c.f.u. g, and a few animals in which the organism increased to 10 c.f.u. g had died by 6 and 10 d after infection. In both healthy and immunosuppressed animals, the accumulation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) in a subcutaneous air-pouch injected with heat-killed organisms was augmented by subcutaneous treatment with L18-MDP(A) 1 d before bacterial injection. The phagocytic activity of peritoneal PMNs was also increased by treatment with this compound. The augmentation of protective mechanisms against pseudomonas pneumonia by L18-MDP(A) may be attributed at least partly to the increased chemotactic and phagocytic activity of PMNs.


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