OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the exposure-response relationships between unbound colistin in plasma and antibacterial activity in mouse thigh and lung infections.
METHODS: Dose fractionation studies (subcutaneous colistin sulphate at 1.25-160 mg/kg/day) were conducted in neutropenic mice in which infection (three strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and three strains of Acinetobacter baumannii) had been produced by intramuscular thigh injection or aerosol lung delivery. Bacterial burden was measured at 24 h after initiation of colistin treatment. Plasma protein binding was measured by rapid equilibrium dialysis and ultracentrifugation. The inhibitory sigmoid dose-effect model and non-linear least squares regression were employed to determine the relationship between exposure to unbound colistin and efficacy.
RESULTS: Plasma binding of colistin was constant over the concentration range ∼2-50 mg/L. The average ± SD percentage bound for all concentrations was 92.9 ± 3.3% by ultracentrifugation and 90.4 ± 1.1% by equilibrium dialysis. In the thigh model, across all six strains the antibacterial effect of colistin was well correlated with fAUC/MIC (R(2) = 0.82-0.94 for P. aeruginosa and R(2) = 0.84-0.95 for A. baumannii). Target values of fAUC/MIC for 2 log10 kill were 7.4-13.7 for P. aeruginosa and 7.4-17.6 for A. baumannii. In the lung model, for only two strains of P. aeruginosa and one strain of A. baumannii was it possible to achieve 2 log10 kill (fAUC/MIC target values 36.8-105), even at the highest colistin dose tolerated by mice. This dose was not able to achieve bacteriostasis for the other two strains of A. baumannii.
CONCLUSIONS: Colistin was substantially less effective in lung infection. The pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target values will assist in the design of optimized dosage regimens.