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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00904

The fluoroquinolone finafloxacin protects BALB/c mice against an intranasal infection with Francisella tularensis strain SchuS4

 Kay B. Barnes1,  Karleigh A. Hamblin1, Mark I. Richards1,  Thomas R. Laws1, Andreas Vente2,  Helen S. Atkins1, 3, 4 and  Sarah V. Harding1*
  • 1Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, United Kingdom
  • 2MerLion Pharma (Germany), Germany
  • 3University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 4London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom

The efficacy of the novel fluoroquinolone finafloxacin was evaluated as a potential therapeutic in vitro and in vivo, following an intranasal infection of Francisella tularensis strain SchuS4 in BALB/c mice. We demonstrated that short treatment courses of finafloxacin provide high levels of protection, with a single dose resulting in a significant increase in time to death when compared to ciprofloxacin. In addition, following investigation into the window of opportunity for treatment, we have shown that finafloxacin can provide protection when administered up to 96 hours post-challenge. This is particularly encouraging since mice displayed severe signs of disease at this time point. In summary, finafloxacin may be a promising therapy for use in the event of exposure to F. tularensis, perhaps enabling the treatment regimen to be shortened or if therapy is delayed. The efficacy of finafloxacin against other biological threat agents also warrants investigation.

Keywords: Finafloxacin, Francisella tularensis, therapeutic, in vivo, biothreat

Received: 14 Feb 2019; Accepted: 09 Apr 2019.

Edited by:

Yuji Morita, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Japan

Reviewed by:

Ivona Pavkova, Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defence, Czechia
Joel Bozue, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Barnes, Hamblin, Richards, Laws, Vente, Atkins and Harding. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Sarah V. Harding, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Salisbury, United Kingdom,