Central nervous system tuberculosis (TB) is devastating and affects vulnerable populations. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculous meningitis (TBM) specifically are nearly uniformly fatal, with little information being available to guide the treatment of these patients. Delamanid (DLM), a nitro-dihydro-imidazooxazole, is a new, well-tolerated anti-TB drug with a low MIC (1 to 12 ng/ml) against Mycobacterium tuberculosis It is used for the treatment of pulmonary MDR-TB, but pharmacokinetic (PK) data for DLM in the central nervous system (CNS) of patients with TBM are not available. In the present study, we measured DLM concentrations in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of six rabbits with and without experimentally induced TBM receiving single-dose DLM. We report the steady-state CSF concentrations from three patients receiving DLM as part of multidrug treatment who underwent therapeutic drug monitoring. Drug was quantified using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. In rabbits and humans, mean concentrations in CSF (in rabbits, 1.26 ng/ml at 9 h and 0.47 ng/ml at 24 h; in humans, 48 ng/ml at 4 h) were significantly lower than those in plasma (in rabbits, 124 ng/ml at 9 h and 14.5 ng/ml at 24 h; in humans, 726 ng/ml at 4 h), but the estimated free CSF/plasma ratios were generally >1. In rabbits, DLM concentrations in the brain were 5-fold higher than those in plasma (means, 518 ng/ml at 9 h and 74.0 ng/ml at 24 h). All patients with XDR-TBM receiving DLM experienced clinical improvement and survival. Collectively, these results suggest that DLM achieves adequate concentrations in brain tissue. Despite relatively low total CSF drug levels, free drug may be sufficient and DLM may have a role in treating TBM. More studies are needed to develop a fuller understanding of its distribution over time with treatment and clinical effectiveness.
Keywords: central nervous system infections; delamanid; drug resistance; meningitis; tuberculosis.
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