Moxifloxacin is not anti-inflammatory in experimental pneumococcal pneumonia

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2015 Mar;70(3):830-40. doi: 10.1093/jac/dku446. Epub 2014 Nov 17.


Objectives: Anti-inflammatory functions of antibiotics may counteract deleterious hyperinflammation in pneumonia. Moxifloxacin reportedly exhibits immunomodulatory properties, but experimental evidence in pneumonia is lacking. Therefore, we investigated moxifloxacin in comparison with ampicillin regarding pneumonia-associated pulmonary and systemic inflammation and lung injury.

Methods: Ex vivo infected human lung tissue and mice with pneumococcal pneumonia were examined regarding local inflammatory response and bacterial growth. In vivo, clinical course of the disease, leucocyte dynamics, pulmonary vascular permeability, lung pathology and systemic inflammation were investigated. In addition, transcellular electrical resistance of thrombin-stimulated endothelial cell monolayers was quantified.

Results: Moxifloxacin reduced cytokine production in TNF-α-stimulated, but not in pneumococci-infected, human lung tissue. In vivo, moxifloxacin treatment resulted in reduced bacterial load as compared with ampicillin, whereas inflammatory parameters and lung pathology were not different. Moxifloxacin-treated mice developed less pulmonary vascular permeability during pneumonia, but neither combination therapy with moxifloxacin and ampicillin in vivo nor examination of endothelial monolayer integrity in vitro supported direct barrier-stabilizing effects of moxifloxacin.

Conclusions: The current experimental data do not support the hypothesis that moxifloxacin exhibits potent anti-inflammatory properties in pneumococcal pneumonia.

Keywords: Streptococcus pneumoniae; acute lung injury; antibiotics; inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fluoroquinolones / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / pathology
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / growth & development
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Moxifloxacin