Causes and implications of the disappearance of rifampin resistance in a rat model of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus foreign body osteomyelitis

Cassandra L. Brinkman, Harmony L. Tyner, Suzannah M. Schmidt-Malan, Jayawant Mandrekar, Robin Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Orthopedic foreign body-associated infections are often treated with rifampin-based combination antimicrobial therapy. We previously observed that rifampin-resistant and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates were present 2 days after cessation of rifampin therapy in experimental foreign body osteomyelitis. Unexpectedly, only rifampin-susceptible isolates were detected 14 days after the completion of treatment. We studied two rifampin-resistant isolates recovered 2 days after treatment and one rifampin-susceptible isolate recovered 14 days after treatment. Growing these isolates alone in vitro or in vivo demonstrated no fitness defects; however, in mixed culture, rifampin-susceptible bacteria outcompeted rifampin-resistant bacteria. In vivo, two courses of rifampin treatment (25 mg/kg of body weight every 12 h for 21 days) yielded a greater decrease in bacterial quantity in the bones of treated animals 14 days following treatment than that in animals receiving a single course of treatment (P = 0.0398). In infections established with equal numbers of rifampin-resistant and rifampin-susceptible bacteria, one course of rifampin treatment did not affect bacterial quantities. Rifampin-resistant and rifampin-susceptible isolates were recovered both 2 days and 14 days following treatment completion; however, the proportion of animals with rifampin-resistant isolates was lower at 14 days than that at 2 days following treatment completion (P = 0.024). In untreated animals infected with equal numbers of rifampin-resistant and rifampin-susceptible bacteria for 4 weeks, rifampin-susceptible isolates were exclusively recovered, indicating the outcompetition of rifampin-resistant by rifampin-susceptible isolates. The data presented imply that although there is no apparent fitness defect in rifampin-resistant bacteria when grown alone, they are outcompeted by rifampin-susceptible bacteria when the two are present together. The findings also suggest that selected rifampin resistance may not persist in initially rifampin-susceptible infections following the discontinuation of rifampin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4481-4488
Number of pages8
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Volume59
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases

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