Targeting human macrophages for enhanced killing of intracellular XDR-TB and MDR-TB

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2009 May;13(5):569-73.


Although many compounds have been described to inhibit the replication of drug-susceptible and drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, most of these studies only evaluate their in vitro activity. There is a lack of studies that show whether any of these agents can kill these organisms at the site where they normally reside post infection, namely, the macrophage of the lung parenchyma. It is the aim of this mini-review to identify agents that have been shown to enhance the killing of intracellular drug-susceptible, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) strains by non-killing macrophages. Because these agents appear to promote their activity by affecting the transport of K(+) and Ca(2+) from the phagolysosome containing the bacteria, and thereby promoting its acidification and activation of hydrolases that will eventually kill the organism, the authors suggest that compounds that are known to affect the transport of K(+) and Ca(2+) should be considered for possible activity against intracellular MDR- and XDR-TB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / drug therapy*
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / microbiology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microbial Viability / drug effects*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / microbiology


  • Antitubercular Agents