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"Non-Antibiotics": Alternative Therapy for the Management of MDRTB and MRSA in Economically Disadvantaged Countries

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 7 ]


Leonard Amaral, Miguel Viveiros and Jette E. Kristiansen   Pages 887 - 891 ( 5 )


The antibiotic resistance is now common place throughout the globe. Two highly problematic antibiotic resistant infections are those produced by multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDRTB) and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Although vancomycin is useful for therapy of MRSA, there is now evidence that resistance to this antibiotic is taking place. Intracellular infections of MRSA are very difficult to manage and are recurrent especially when invasive prosthetic devices are employed. This mini-review provides cogent evidence that both intracellular MDRTB and intracellular MRSA can be killed by concentrations of the non-antibiotic phenothiazine, Thioridazine, at concentrations in the medium that are below those present in the plasma of patients treated with this agent. Although thioridazine has been claimed to cause arrhythmias and even sudden death, the frequencies of these episodes are rare and when present, they are related to the patients underlying cardiac status as opposed to the direct effect of the agent itself. The authors do not suggest that thioridazine be used indiscriminately for MDRTB or intracellular infections produced by MRSA. However, there are circumstances where there are no alternative forms of therapy and the patient faces an unfavourable prognosis. For these highly selective and controlled situations, the use of thioridazine in the manner employed for the therapy of psychosis is recommended (compassionate therapy).


chlorpromazine, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, phenothiazines, Staphylococcus aureus, antimicrobial activity


Unit of Mycobacteriology,Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa,Rua da Junqueira 96, 1349-008, Lisboa, Portugal.

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