Treatment with high-dose antidepressants severely exacerbates the pathological outcome of experimental Escherichia coli infections in poultry

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Abstract

There is an urgent need for novel antibiotics as the current antibiotics are losing their value due to increased resistance among clinically important bacteria. Sertraline, an on-marked anti-depressive drug, has been shown to modify bacterial activity in vitro, including increasing the susceptibility of Escherichia coli to antibiotics. The aim of the present study was to investigate if the antimicrobial activity of sertraline could be documented under clinical settings, hereunder if sertraline could potentiate the effect of tetracycline in treatment of an experimentally induced ascending infection in poultry. A total of 40 chickens were divided in four groups of 10 chickens each. All chickens were challenged with 4x103 colony forming units (CFU) of a tetracycline resistant E. coli strain using a surgical infection model, and subsequently treated with either high-dose sertraline, tetracycline, a combination hereof or received no treatment. Seven days post challenge all birds were submitted to necropsy and scored pathologically for lesions. The average lesion scores were significantly higher (P<0.05) in the groups that were treated with high-dose sertraline or high-dose sertraline combined with tetracycline. In conclusion high-dose treatments (four times the maximum therapeutic dose for treating human depression) with sertraline as an adjuvant for treatment of antibiotic resistant E. coli infections exacerbate the pathological outcome of infection in chickens.

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Kromann, S., Kudirkiene, E., Li, L., Thoefner, I., Daldorph, E., Christensen, J. P., … Olsen, R. H. (2017). Treatment with high-dose antidepressants severely exacerbates the pathological outcome of experimental Escherichia coli infections in poultry. PLoS ONE, 12(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185914

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