Evaluation of anti-bacterial activity of Rifapentine, Clarithromycin, Minocycline, Moxifloxacin, Ofloxacin and their combinations in Murine Model of Rifampicin Resistant Leprosy
Leprosy, a debilitating disease of the skin and peripheral nerves is caused by Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae) and is treated by multidrug therapy (MDT) comprising of Dapsone, Rifampicin and Clofazimine. Resistance to any of these drugs poses a threat to the current disease control strategies. With the emergence of Rifampicin resistance in leprosy, it is important that alternative drugs need to be tested to develop a treatment strategy to combat drug resistant leprosy. In the current study, we have investigated WHO MDT, Rifapentine, Clarithromycin, Minocycline, Moxifloxacin, Ofloxacin and their combinations in intermittent and daily dose regimens in rifampicin resistant strains of M. leprae through mouse foot pad experiments in order to determine the loss in viability of M. leprae in response to these drugs and their combinations. Our findings suggest that WHO MDT is still the best combination in Rifampicin resistance cases. Combination of Moxifloxacin with Minocycline and Clarithromycin may also be taken up for clinical trials in cases with Rifampicin resistant leprosy. Rifapentine and Moxifloxacin can be effective alternative drugs to replace Rifampicin where required either in daily dose shorter duration regimens or intermittent dose longer regimen to treat resistant strains.