Mycobacterium abscessus from respiratory isolates: activities of drug combinations

J Infect Chemother. 2009 Feb;15(1):46-8. doi: 10.1007/s10156-008-0651-y. Epub 2009 Mar 12.


Mycobacterium abscessus is the most resistant of rapidly growing pathogenic mycobacteria. We performed a screening of the in vitro sterilizing capacity of various antibiotic combinations against two strains isolated from respiratory samples (in vitro activity of each antibiotic: 51 combinations of two drugs and 47 of three drugs). Our findings confirm that clarithromycin is the most useful drug. The combination of this drug with linezolid exhibits good activity. In addition, the fluoroquinolones and rifabutin in association with clarithromycin may have clinical utility because they are administered orally. Therapeutic alternatives in this type of infections should be evaluated in greater depth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / epidemiology
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / microbiology*
  • Nontuberculous Mycobacteria / drug effects*
  • Nontuberculous Mycobacteria / isolation & purification
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents