Pharmaceutics, Vol. 14, Pages 36: Liposomal Encapsulation Increases the Efficacy of Azithromycin against Chlamydia trachomatis

Pharmaceutics doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14010036

Anita Bogdanov
László Janovák
Jasmina Vraneš
Tomislav Meštrović
Sunčanica Ljubin-Sternak
Zsuzsanna Cseh
Valéria Endrész
Katalin Burián
Željka Vanić
Dezső P. Virok

Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) is an obligate intracellular bacterium linked to ocular and urogenital infections with potentially serious sequelae, including blindness and infertility. First-line antibiotics, such as azithromycin (AZT) and doxycycline, are effective, but treatment failures have also been reported. Encapsulation of antibiotics in liposomes is considered an effective approach for improving their local effects, bioavailability, biocompatibility and antimicrobial activity. To test whether liposomes could enhance the antichlamydial action of AZT, we encapsulated AZT in different surface-charged elastic liposomes (neutral, cationic and anionic elastic liposomes) and assessed their antibacterial potential against the C. trachomatis serovar D laboratory strain as well as the clinical isolate C. trachomatis serovar F. A direct quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method was used to measure chlamydial genome content 48 h post infection and to determine the recoverable chlamydial growth. All the liposomes efficiently delivered AZT to HeLa 229 cells infected with the laboratory Chlamydia strain, exhibiting the minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and the minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of AZT even 4–8-fold lower than those achieved with the free AZT. The tested AZT-liposomes were also effective against the clinical Chlamydia strain by decreasing MIC values by 2-fold relative to the free AZT. Interestingly, the neutral AZT-liposomes had no effect on the MBC against the clinical strain, while cationic and anionic AZT-liposomes decreased the MBC 2-fold, hence proving the potential of the surface-charged elastic liposomes to improve the effectiveness of AZT against C. trachomatis.

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