(1/400) Reduced pyrazinamidase activity and the natural resistance of Mycobacterium kansasii to the antituberculosis drug pyrazinamide.

Pyrazinamide (PZA), an analog of nicotinamide, is a prodrug that requires conversion to the bactericidal compound pyrazinoic acid (POA) by the bacterial pyrazinamidase (PZase) activity of nicotinamidase to show activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mutations leading to a loss of PZase activity cause PZA resistance in M. tuberculosis. M. kansasii is naturally resistant to PZA and has reduced PZase activity along with an apparently detectable nicotinamidase activity. The role of the reduction in PZase activity in the natural PZA resistance of M. kansasii is unknown. The MICs of PZA and POA for M. kansasii were determined to be 500 and 125 micrograms/ml, respectively. Using [14C]PZA and [14C]nicotinamide, we found that M. kansasii had about 5-fold-less PZase activity and about 25-fold-less nicotinamidase activity than M. tuberculosis. The M. kansasii pncA gene was cloned on a 1.8-kb BamHI DNA fragment, using M. avium pncA probe. Sequence analysis showed that the M. kansasii pncA gene encoded a protein with homology to its counterparts from M. tuberculosis (69.9%), M. avium (65.6%), and Escherichia coli (28.5%). Transformation of naturally PZA-resistant M. bovis BCG with M. kansasii pncA conferred partial PZA susceptibility. Transformation of M. kansasii with M. avium pncA caused functional expression of PZase and high-level susceptibility to PZA, indicating that the natural PZA resistance in M. kansasii results from a reduced PZase activity. Like M. tuberculosis, M. kansasii accumulated POA in the cells at an acidic pH; however, due to its highly active POA efflux pump, the naturally PZA-resistant species M. smegmatis did not. These findings suggest the existence of a weak POA efflux mechanism in M. kansasii.  (+info)

(2/400) Role of acid pH and deficient efflux of pyrazinoic acid in unique susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to pyrazinamide.

Pyrazinamide (PZA) is an important antituberculosis drug. Unlike most antibacterial agents, PZA, despite its remarkable in vivo activity, has no activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vitro except at an acidic pH. M. tuberculosis is uniquely susceptible to PZA, but other mycobacteria as well as nonmycobacteria are intrinsically resistant. The role of acidic pH in PZA action and the basis for the unique PZA susceptibility of M. tuberculosis are unknown. We found that in M. tuberculosis, acidic pH enhanced the intracellular accumulation of pyrazinoic acid (POA), the active derivative of PZA, after conversion of PZA by pyrazinamidase. In contrast, at neutral or alkaline pH, POA was mainly found outside M. tuberculosis cells. PZA-resistant M. tuberculosis complex organisms did not convert PZA into POA. Unlike M. tuberculosis, intrinsically PZA-resistant M. smegmatis converted PZA into POA, but it did not accumulate POA even at an acidic pH, due to a very active POA efflux mechanism. We propose that a deficient POA efflux mechanism underlies the unique susceptibility of M. tuberculosis to PZA and that the natural PZA resistance of M. smegmatis is due to a highly active efflux pump. These findings may have implications with regard to the design of new antimycobacterial drugs.  (+info)

(3/400) Mycobacterium bovis BCG causing vertebral osteomyelitis (Pott's disease) following intravesical BCG therapy.

We report a case of Mycobacterium bovis BCG vertebral osteomyelitis in a 79-year-old man 2.5 years after intravesical BCG therapy for bladder cancer. The recovered isolate resembled M. tuberculosis biochemically, but resistance to pyrazinamide (PZA) rendered that diagnosis suspect. High-pressure liquid chromatographic studies confirmed the diagnosis of M. bovis BCG infection. The patient was originally started on a four-drug antituberculous regimen of isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, and PZA. When susceptibility studies were reported, the regimen was changed to isoniazid and rifampin for 12 months. Subsequently, the patient was transferred to a skilled nursing facility for 3 months, where he underwent intensive physical therapy. Although extravesical adverse reactions are rare, clinicians and clinical microbiologists need to be aware of the possibility of disseminated infection by M. bovis BCG in the appropriate setting of clinical history, physical examination, and laboratory investigation.  (+info)

(4/400) Intrapulmonary concentrations of pyrazinamide.

The objective of this study was to compare the steady-state plasma and intrapulmonary concentrations of orally administered pyrazinamide in normal volunteers and subjects with AIDS. Pyrazinamide was administered at 1 g once daily for 5 days to 40 adult volunteers (10 men with AIDS, 10 normal men, 10 women with AIDS, and 10 normal women). Subjects with AIDS and with more than four stools per day were excluded. Blood was obtained prior to administration of the first dose, 2 h after the last dose, and at the completion of bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage, which were performed 4 h after the last dose. Standardized bronchoscopy was performed without systemic sedation. The volume of epithelial lining fluid (ELF) recovered was calculated by the urea dilution method. The total number of alveolar cells (AC) was counted in a hemocytometer, and differential cell counting was performed after cytocentrifugation. Pyrazinamide was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. The presence of AIDS or gender had no significant effect on the concentrations of pyrazinamide in plasma. The concentrations of pyrazinamide in ELF and AC were lower in the subjects with AIDS than in the subjects without AIDS, but the difference was not significant. The concentrations in plasma (mean +/- standard deviation) were 25.1 +/- 7.6 and 21.1 +/- 6.8 microg/ml at 2 and 4 h after the last dose, respectively, and were not significantly different from the concentration (17.4 +/- 16.9 microg/ml) in AC. The concentration of pyrazinamide in ELF was high (431 +/- 220 microg/ml) and was approximately 4 to 40 times the reported MIC for pyrazinamide-susceptible strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The high concentration of pyrazinamide in ELF may contribute in part to the effectiveness of the drug in treating pulmonary tuberculosis.  (+info)

(5/400) Characterization of new mutations in pyrazinamide-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and identification of conserved regions important for the catalytic activity of the pyrazinamidase PncA.

A new set of mutations, including transposition of the insertion sequence IS6110, was identified in the pncA gene from 19 pyrazinamide-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. Alignment of the PncA protein from M. tuberculosis with homologous proteins from different bacterial species revealed three highly conserved regions in PncA which may play an important role in the processing of pyrazinamide.  (+info)

(6/400) pncA mutations in pyrazinamide-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from northwestern Russia.

Thirty-six pyrazinamide-resistant and eight pyrazinamide-susceptible Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from Russia were analyzed for their pncA mutations. Thirty-one (86.1%) of the resistant isolates had a mutation either in pncA or upstream of the gene. Twenty of the 23 different mutations found in this study had not been described earlier. pncA genotype correlated well with pyrazinamidase activity and BACTEC 460 susceptibility test results.  (+info)

(7/400) Mechanisms of pyrazinamide resistance in mycobacteria: importance of lack of uptake in addition to lack of pyrazinamidase activity.

Mycobacteria are known to acquire resistance to the antituberculous drug pyrazinamide (PZA) through mutations in the gene encoding pyrazinamidase (PZase), an enzyme that converts PZA into pyrazinoic acid, the presumed active form of PZA against bacteria. Additional mechanisms of resistance to the drug are known to exist but have not been fully investigated. Among these is the non-uptake of the pro-drug, a possibility investigated in the present study. The uptake mechanism of PZA, a requisite step for the activation of the pro-drug, was studied in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The incorporation of [14C]PZA by the bacilli was followed in both neutral and acidic environments since PZA activity is known to be optimal at acidic pH. By using a protonophore (carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone; CCCP), valinomycin, arsenate and low temperature, it was shown that an ATP-dependent transport system is involved in the uptake of PZA. Whilst the structurally analogous compound nicotinamide inhibited the transport system of PZA, other structurally related compounds such as pyrazinoic acid, isoniazid and cytosine did not. Acidic conditions were also without effect. Based on diffusion experiments in liposomes, it was found that PZA diffuses rapidly through membrane bilayers, faster than glycerol, whilst the presence of OmpATb, the porin-like protein of M. tuberculosis, in proteoliposomes slightly increased the diffusion of the drug. This finding may explain why the cell wall mycolate hydrophobic layer does not represent the limiting step in the diffusion of PZA, as judged from comparative experiments using a M. tuberculosis strain and its isogenic mutant elaborating 40% less covalently linked mycolates. PZase activity, and PZA uptake and susceptibility in different mycobacterial species were compared. M. tuberculosis, a naturally PZA-susceptible species, was the only species that exhibited both PZase activity and PZA uptake; no such correlation was observed with the four naturally resistant species examined. Mycobacterium smegmatis possessed a functional PZase but did not take up PZA; the reverse was true for the PZase-negative strain of Mycobacterium avium used, with PZA uptake comparable to that of M. tuberculosis. Mycobacterium bovis BCG and Mycobacterium kansasii exhibited neither a PZase activity nor PZA uptake. These data clearly demonstrate that one of the mechanisms of resistance to PZA resides in the failure of strains to take up the drug, indicating that susceptibility to PZA in mycobacteria requires both the presence of a functional PZase and a PZA transport system. No correlation was observed between the occurrence and cellular location of PZase and of nicotinamidase in the strains examined, suggesting that one or both amides can be hydrolysed by other mycobacterial amidases.  (+info)

(8/400) Reactivation of latent tuberculosis: variations on the Cornell murine model.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes active tuberculosis in only a small percentage of infected persons. In most cases, the infection is clinically latent, although immunosuppression can cause reactivation of a latent M. tuberculosis infection. Surprisingly little is known about the biology of the bacterium or the host during latency, and experimental studies on latent tuberculosis suffer from a lack of appropriate animal models. The Cornell model is a historical murine model of latent tuberculosis, in which mice infected with M. tuberculosis are treated with antibiotics (isoniazid and pyrazinamide), resulting in no detectable bacilli by organ culture. Reactivation of infection during this culture-negative state occurred spontaneously and following immunosuppression. In the present study, three variants of the Cornell model were evaluated for their utility in studies of latent and reactivated tuberculosis. The antibiotic regimen, inoculating dose, and antibiotic-free rest period prior to immunosuppression were varied. A variety of immunosuppressive agents, based on immunologic factors known to be important to control of acute infection, were used in attempts to reactivate the infection. Although reactivation of latent infection was observed in all three variants, these models were associated with characteristics that limit their experimental utility, including spontaneous reactivation, difficulties in inducing reactivation, and the generation of altered bacilli. The results from these studies demonstrate that the outcome of Cornell model-based studies depends critically upon the parameters used to establish the model.  (+info)