Objective: To characterize the antitoxoplasma activity of clindamycin in a murine model of acute toxoplasmosis.
Method: Rates of survival and mean survival times of Swiss Webster mice infected intraperitoneally with 106-102 tachyzoites of the RH strain of Toxoplasma gondii treated with clindamycin or sulfamethoxazole (positive control) or untreated (negative control) were compared. Survivors were submitted to examination of untreated brain tissue preparations, intraperitoneal and peroral subinoculations of brain tissue homogenates into fresh mice, and to patho-histology, including immunohistochemistry, of brain and lungs.
Results: The effect of clindamycin treatment (400 mg/kg/day) on infected Swiss Webster mice was inoculum size dependent, ranging from no survivals in animals infected with 106 parasites, to 100% survivals with an inoculum of 102. Treatment initiated 24 h before and at time of infection prolonged mean survival times comparably to sulfamethoxazole, and significantly when compared to untreated controls. In contrast, treatment initiated 48 h postinfection with an inoculum of 106 did not postpone death. In the clindamycin-treated survivors, there was no biological or histologic evidence for the persistence of toxoplasma.
Conclusions: The results obtained show that at an appropriate parasite dose/drug dose ratio, clindamycin is strongly toxoplasmacidal in a murine model of acute toxoplasmosis.