In-vitro activity of quinolones and macrolides against mycobacteria

J Antimicrob Chemother. 1994 Sep;34(3):343-51. doi: 10.1093/jac/34.3.343.


The activities of eight quinolones (ciprofloxacin, clinafloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin, A-80556, sparfloxacin, temafloxacin and tosufloxacin) and three macrolides (azithromycin, clarithromycin and erythromycin) against 98 clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 120 isolates of five different atypical mycobacterial species including 20 Mycobacterium kansasii, 25 Mycobacterium scrofulaceum, 25 Mycobacterium avium/intracellulare, 25 Mycobacterium chelonae and 25 Mycobacterium fortuitum were determined with the Middlebrook 7H9 broth macrodilution method. Sparfloxacin, clinafloxacin, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin were active against M. tuberculosis (MIC90 0.06-0.5 mg/L; MBC90 0.125-2.0 mg/L). However, higher MIC90S and MBC90S of these quinolones were obtained for strains of multi-drug resistant M. tuberculosis. The macrolides tested had poor activity against M. tuberculosis isolates (MIC90 > 8.0 mg/L). Furthermore, high MIC90S of the quinolones and macrolides (2.0 to 8.0 mg/L) were obtained for clinical isolates of atypical mycobacteria, with the exception of clarithromycin against M. kansasii (MIC90 = 1.0 mg/L) and sparfloxacin against M. scrofulaceum (MIC90 = 1.0 mg/L).

MeSH terms

  • 4-Quinolones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Humans
  • Macrolides
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycobacterium / drug effects*
  • Mycobacterium avium Complex / drug effects
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects
  • Nontuberculous Mycobacteria / drug effects


  • 4-Quinolones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Macrolides