Pneumocystis carinii: Improved models to study efficacy of drugs for treatment or prophylaxis of Pneumocystis pneumonia in the rat (Rattus spp.)

Marilyn S. Bartlett, Jay A. Fishman, Michelle M. Durkin, Sherry F. Queener, James W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Rats which were immunosuppressed with adrenal corticosteroids then transtracheally inoculated with Pneumocystis carinii were evaluated as models for study of drug efficacy. Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, known to be effective against Pneumocystis, was given in therapeutic and prophylactic regimens and its long-term effectiveness determined by a protocol to study relapse. Untreated animals uniformly developed severe infection with differences in numbers of organisms between untreated and treated animals being greater than two logs. Therapy or prophylaxis studies could be completed in 6 to 7 weeks. Animals given prophylaxis or therapy with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole had few organisms detected in lungs. Numbers of organisms did not increase during the 4 weeks when the animals were continued on immunosuppression after discontinuing treatment as long as reinfection was prevented. These models are useful for evaluating anti-Pneumocystis activity of antimicrobials. Relapse study data suggest that reinfection may have an important role in development of recurrent Pneumocystis pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-106
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990



  • Animal model
  • Pneumocystis carinii
  • Pneumonia
  • Prophylaxis
  • Relapse
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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