Intra- and extracellular activities of dicloxacillin against Staphylococcus aureus in vivo and in vitro

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Jun;54(6):2391-400. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01400-09. Epub 2010 Mar 22.


Antibiotic treatment of Staphylococcus aureus infections is often problematic due to the slow response and recurrences. The intracellular persistence of the staphylococci offers a plausible explanation for the treatment difficulties because of the impaired intracellular efficacies of the antibiotics. The intra- and extracellular time- and concentration-kill relationships were examined in vitro with THP-1 cells and in vivo by use of a mouse peritonitis model. The in vivo model was further used to estimate the most predictive pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) indices (the ratio of the maximum concentration of drug in plasma/MIC, the ratio of the area under the concentration-time curve/MIC, or the cumulative percentage of a 24-h period that the free [f] drug concentration exceeded the MIC under steady-state pharmacokinetic conditions [fT(MIC)]) for dicloxacillin (DCX) intra- and extracellularly. In general, DCX was found to have similar intracellular activities, regardless of the model used. Both models showed (i) the relative maximal efficacy (1-log-unit reduction in the numbers of CFU) of DCX intracellularly and (ii) the equal relative potency of DCX intra- and extracellularly, with the MIC being a good indicator of the overall response in both situations. Discordant results, based on data obtained different times after dosing, were obtained from the two models when the extracellular activity of DCX was measured, in which the in vitro model showed a considerable reduction in the number of CFU from that in the original inoculum (3-log-unit decrease in the number of CFU after 24 h), whereas the extracellular CFU reduction achieved in vivo after 4 h did not exceed 1 log unit. Multiple dosing of DCX in vivo revealed increased extra- and intracellular efficacies (2.5 log and 2 log units of reduction in the numbers of CFU after 24 h, respectively), confirming that DCX is a highly active antistaphylococcal antibiotic. PK/PD analysis revealed that fT(MIC) is the index that is the most predictive of the outcome of infection both intra- and extracellularly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / blood
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dicloxacillin / blood
  • Dicloxacillin / pharmacokinetics
  • Dicloxacillin / pharmacology*
  • Extracellular Space / drug effects
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Extracellular Space / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Space / drug effects
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Intracellular Space / microbiology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Peritonitis / drug therapy
  • Peritonitis / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Dicloxacillin