A microbiological assessment of novel nitrofuranylamides as anti-tuberculosis agents. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: Nitrofuranylamides (NFAs) are nitroaromatic compounds that have recently been discovered and have potent anti-tuberculosis (TB) activity. A foundational study was performed to evaluate whether this class of agents possesses microbiological properties suitable for future antimycobacterial therapy. METHODS: Five representative compounds of the NFA series were evaluated by standard microbiological assays to determine MICs, MBCs, activity against anaerobic non-replicating persistent Mycobacterium tuberculosis, post-antibiotic effects (PAEs), antibiotic synergy and the basis for resistance. RESULTS: The antimicrobial activity of these compounds was restricted to bacteria of the M. tuberculosis complex, and all compounds were highly active against drug-susceptible and -resistant strains of M. tuberculosis, with MICs 0.0004-0.05 mg/L. Moreover, no antagonism was observed with front-line anti-TB drugs. Activity was also retained against dormant bacilli in two in vitro low-oxygen models for M. tuberculosis persistence. A long PAE was observed, which was comparable to that of rifampicin, but superior to isoniazid and ethambutol. Spontaneous NFA-resistant mutants arose at a frequency of 10(-5)-10(-7), comparable to that for isoniazid (10(-5)-10(-6)). Some of these mutants exhibited cross-resistance to one or both of the nitroimidazoles PA-824 and OPC-67683. Cross-resistance was associated with inactivation of the reduced F(420)-deazaflavin cofactor pathway and not with inactivation of the Rv3547, the nitroreductase for PA-824 and OPC-67683. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these studies, NFAs have many useful antimycobacterial properties applicable to TB chemotherapy and probably possess a unique mode of action that results in good activity against active and dormant M. tuberculosis. Therefore, the further development of lead compounds in this series is warranted.

published proceedings

  • J Antimicrob Chemother

altmetric score

  • 7

author list (cited authors)

  • Hurdle, J. G., Lee, R. B., Budha, N. R., Carson, E. I., Qi, J., Scherman, M. S., ... Lee, R. E.

citation count

  • 76

complete list of authors

  • Hurdle, Julian G||Lee, Robin B||Budha, Nageshwar R||Carson, Elizabeth I||Qi, Jianjun||Scherman, Michael S||Cho, Sang Hyun||McNeil, Michael R||Lenaerts, Anne J||Franzblau, Scott G||Meibohm, Bernd||Lee, Richard E

publication date

  • November 2008