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Chlorpromazine has intracellular killing activity against phagocytosed Staphylococcus aureus at clinical concentrations

Abstract

Chlorpromazine (CPZ) has in vitro antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus at concentrations that greatly exceed those achieved clinically. It is concentrated by tissues that are rich in macrophages and it is active against phagocytosed mycobacteria when the concentration in the medium is compatible with that achieved clinically. In this report we show that nontoxic concentrations of CPZ below clinical levels have killing activity against S. aureus phagocytosed by human monocyte-derived macrophages that have nominal killing activity against these bacteria. Little or no resistance to the antimicrobial activity of this compound is anticipated to result because of its large number of cellular targets. Therefore, CPZ may have a role in the management of intracellular staphylococcal infections that normally require the use of antibiotics whose potential toxicity exceeds that associated with short-term management with CPZ.

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Received: February 12, 2002 / Accepted: May 25, 2002

Acknowledgments We thank the Scientific Council of the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for their support and encouragement, and the Cost Action B16 of the European Commission for advice and comments. This study was supported by grant 37579/FCB/2001 provided by the Fundação para Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) of Portugal.

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Ordway, D., Viveiros, M., Leandro, C. et al. Chlorpromazine has intracellular killing activity against phagocytosed Staphylococcus aureus at clinical concentrations. J Infect Chemother 8, 227–231 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10156-002-0188-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10156-002-0188-4

  • Key words Staphylococcus aureus Chlorpromazine Intracellular activity Cellular immunity