Screening of Several Anti-Infectives for in Vitro Activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis


Aim: To evaluate in vitro the effectiveness of several anti-infective agents alone or in combination against Mycobacterium smegmatis. Method: A convenient stratified sampling method was used to obtain selected anti-infective agents. For individual drug samples, Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) were obtained using the agar-well plate diffusion technique. Fractional Inhibitory Concentration Indices (FICI) were calculated for drug combinations using their MIC as obtained from the broth dilution method. Results: Of the thirty (30) anti-infective agents analyzed, ten (10) had MIC equivalent to or better than rifampicin (reference TB drug). Seven (7) drugs had MIC higher than rifampicin, while twelve (12) showed no growth inhibition of M. smegmatis. Analysis of the effect of drug combinations on M. smegmatis indicated that four (4) combinations, including rifampicin/ethambutol showed synergism. One (1) was additive, two (2) were indifferent and one (1) combination showed antagonism. Conclusion: Notable in the results obtained was the high effectiveness of the carbapenems in inhibiting the growth of M. smegmatis. Carbapenems, though not indicated for TB treatment, has a potential of playing a significant role in the treatment of tuberculosis. Also the drug combinations which showed synergism, especially those that involved the macrolide antibiotics, should further be investigated. These results have to be confirmed by in vivo clinical studies to define their roles in tuberculosis treatment.

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Allotey-Babington, G. , Nettey, H. , Debrah, P. , Adi-Dako, O. , Sasu, C. , Antwi, A. , Darko, Y. , Nartey, N. and Asare, J. (2014) Screening of Several Anti-Infectives for in Vitro Activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis. Advances in Microbiology, 4, 1197-1203. doi: 10.4236/aim.2014.416129.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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