In vitro activities of ciprofloxacin and rifampin alone and in combination against growing and nongrowing strains of methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Dinesh Bahl, Dorothy A. Miller, Ira Leviton, Philip Gialanella, Meyer J. Wolin, Weiguo Liu, Ruth Perkins, Michael H. Miller

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27 Scopus citations


We characterized the effects of ciprofloxacin and rifampin alone and in combination on Staphylococcus aureus in vitro. The effects of drug combinations (e.g., indifferent, antagonistic, or additive interactions) on growth inhibition were compared by disk approximation studies and by determining the fractional inhibitory concentrations. Bactericidal effects in log-phase bacteria and in nongrowing isolates were characterized by time- kill methods. The effect of drug combinations was dependent upon whether or not cells were growing and whether killing or growth inhibition was the endpoint used to measure drug interaction. Despite bactericidal antagonism in time-kill experiments, our in vitro studies suggest several possible explanations for the observed benefits in patients treated with a combination of ciprofloxacin and rifampin for deep-seated staphylococcal infections. Notably, when growth inhibition rather than killing was used to characterize drug interaction, indifference rather than antagonism was observed. An additive bactericidal effect was observed in nongrowing bacteria suspended in phosphate-buffered saline. While rifampin antagonized the bactericidal effects of ciprofloxacin, ciprofloxacin did not antagonize the bactericidal effects of rifampin. Each antimicrobial prevented the emergence of subpopulations that were resistant to the other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1293-1297
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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