Pharmacodynamics of pulse dosing versus standard dosing: In vitro metronidazole activity against Bacteroides fragilis and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron

Khalid H. Ibrahim, Brent W. Gunderson, Elizabeth D. Hermsen, Laurie B. Hovde, John C Rotschafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Pulse dosing is a novel approach to dosing that produces escalating antibiotic levels early in the dosing interval followed by a prolonged dose-free period. Antibiotic is frontloaded by means of four sequential bolus injections, after which antibiotic levels are allowed to diminish until the next dose. This study compares standard thrice-daily dosing and pulse dosing of metronidazole against Bacteroides spp. in an in vitro model. Two American Type Culture Collection Bacteroides fragilis isolates (metronidazole MIC for each organism = 1 mg/liter) were exposed to metronidazole for 48 or 96 h. Human pharmacokinetics were simulated for an oral 500-mg dose given every 8 h (maximum concentration of drug [Cmax] = 12 mg/liter; half-life = 8 h; area under the curve [AUC] = 294 mg · h/liter) and for pulse dosing. Pulses, each producing an increase in metronidazole concentration of 9 mg/liter, were administered at times 0, 2, 4, and 6 h of each 24-h cycle, with a targeted half-life of 8 h (AUC = 347 mg · h/liter). A metronidazole-resistant B. fragilis strain (metronidazole MIC = 32 mg/liter) was exposed to both dosing regimens and, additionally, to a regimen of 1,500 mg administered once daily (Cmax = 36 mg/liter; AUC = 364 mg · h/liter). Furthermore, regimens against one B. fragilis isolate and one B. thetaiotaomicron isolate corresponding to one-fourth and one-eighth of the thrice-daily and pulse dosing regimens, mimicking peak metronidazole concentrations achieved in abscesses, were simulated in 48-h experiments (metronidazole MIC = 1 mg/liter). Time-kill curves were generated for each experiment and analyzed for bactericidal activity, defined as a bacterial burden reduction ≥ 3 log10 CFU/ml. The results of paired (Wilcoxon matched-pair signed-rank test) and nonpaired (Mann-Whitney test) statistical analyses conducted on time to 3 log10 kill data and area under the kill curve data from each of the thrice-daily dosing experiments versus each of the pulse dosing experiments were considered not significant for a given isolate-dosing regimen combination. The thrice-daily dosing, pulse dosing, and once-daily dosing regimens all exhibited bactericidal activity. Metronidazole administered in standard or pulse dosing fashion was highly active against both susceptible and resistant strains of Bacteroides spp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4195-4199
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Pharmacodynamics of pulse dosing versus standard dosing: In vitro metronidazole activity against Bacteroides fragilis and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this