PMID: 11020250Oct 6, 2000

Cytotoxicity and probable mechanism of action of sulphimidazole

The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Mario CastelliG Baggio


Sulphimidazole (1-methyl-2((4-aminophenyl)-sulphonyl)-amino-5-nitroimidazole) is a new compound in which a p-aminobenzenesulphonamide radical has been attached at position 2 of the 5-nitroimidazole ring. It possesses a useful spectrum of activity in vitro against various anaerobic microorganisms and its action against aerobic and facultative bacteria is synergically enhanced in association with trimethoprim. In the present study, we determined the cytotoxicity in vitro of sulphimidazole and trimethoprim, both alone and in combination, and analysed the viability of Vero cells and the protein content of their cell lysate in the presence of increasing concentrations of these drugs. Also, in order to verify the hypothesis that the action of sulphimidazole against aerobic and facultative bacteria is mediated by the sulphonamide component of the molecule, while that against anaerobic bacteria depends on the action of the nitro group of the 5-nitroimidazole ring, we studied the mechanism of action of the new compound both indirectly, by means of microbiological techniques, and directly, by determining its oxidoreduction potential with respect to that of metronidazole. The results show that sulphimidazole is only slightly toxic in vitr...Continue Reading


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