Radiologic responses in cynomolgus macaques for assessing tuberculosis chemotherapy regimens

Philana Ling Lin, Teresa Coleman, Jonathan P.J. Carney, Brian J. Lopresti, Jaime Tomko, Dan Fillmore, Veronique Dartois, Charles Scanga, L. James Frye, Christopher Janssen, Edwin Klein, Clifton E. Barry, Jo Anne L. Flynnc

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115 Scopus citations


Trials to test new drugs currently in development against tuberculosis in humans are impractical. All animal models to prioritize new regimens are imperfect, but nonhuman primates (NHPs) infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis develop active tuberculosis (TB) disease with a full spectrum of lesion types seen in humans. Serial 2-deoxy-2-[18F]-fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) with computed tomography (CT) imaging was performed on cynomolgus macaques during infection and chemotherapy with individual agents or the four-drug combination therapy most widely used globally. The size and metabolic activity of lung granulomas varied among animals and even within a single animal during development of disease. Individual granulomas within untreated animals had highly local and independent outcomes, some progressing in size and FDG uptake, while others waned, illustrating the highly dynamic nature of active TB. At necropsy, even untreated animals were found to have a proportion of sterile lesions consistent with the dynamics of this infection. A more marked reduction in overall metabolic activity in the lungs (decreased FDG uptake) was associated with effective treatment. A reduction in the size of individual lesions correlated with a lower bacterial burden at necropsy. Isoniazid treatment was associated with a transient increase in metabolic activity in individual lesions, whereas a net reduction occurred in most lesions from rifampin-treated animals. Quadruple-drug therapy resulted in the highest decrease in FDG uptake. The findings of PET-CT imaging may provide an important early correlate of the efficacy of novel combinations of new drugs that can be directly translated to human clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4237-4244
Number of pages8
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology


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