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Antibiotic effects on phagocyte chemiluminescence in vitro

  • L. A. Pierce
  • W. O. Tarnow-Mordi
  • I. A. Cree
Originals

Summary

Phagocytes are an essential defence against infection. Since drugs which affect their function may alter the outcome of infections, we have studied the effect of nine antibiotics on phagocyte function in vitro. The effects of antibiotics on the respiratory burst function of phagocytes from healthy adult donors were investigated using lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence in response to serum-opsonised zymosan. Aminoglycosides showed dose-dependent suppression of polymorphonuclear leucocyte chemiluminescence, except streptomycin which caused enhancement. Erythromycin caused profound suppression of chemiluminescence from both polymorphonuclear leucocytes and monocytes. Benzylpenicillin and the cephalosporins caused variable suppression of phagocyte chemiluminescence: cefotaxime increased monocyte chemiluminescence in some experiments. None of the drugs produced suppression at clinically relevant plasma concentrations, but erythromycin and some other drugs are preferentially concentrated in phagocytes to levels which suppress their oxidative metabolism in vitro. It is therefore possible that some antibiotics alter phagocyte function: ex vivo studies of phagocyte function in patients taking antibiotics would be valuable.

Key words

Antibiotics Phagocytes Neutrophils Monocytes Chemiluminescence 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. A. Pierce
    • 1
  • W. O. Tarnow-Mordi
    • 2
  • I. A. Cree
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical SchoolUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK
  2. 2.Department of Child Health, Ninewells Hospital and Medical SchoolUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK
  3. 3.Department of PathologyInstitute of OphthalmologyLondonUK

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