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BackgroundThe clinical response to ceftriaxone in patients with typhoid fever is significantly slower than with ofloxacin, despite infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) isolates with similar susceptibilities (MIC 0.03-0.12 mg/L). The response to ofloxacin is slower if the isolate has intermediate susceptibility (MIC 0.25-1.0 mg/L).ObjectivesTo determine the bactericidal activity and post-antibiotic effect (PAE) of ceftriaxone and ofloxacin against S. Typhi.MethodsThe mean time to reach a 99.9% reduction in log10 count (bactericidal activity) and PAE of ceftriaxone and ofloxacin were determined for 18 clinical isolates of S. Typhi in time-kill experiments (MIC range for ofloxacin 0.06-1.0 mg/L and for ceftriaxone 0.03-0.12 mg/L).ResultsThe mean (SD) bactericidal activity of ofloxacin was 33.1 (15.2) min and 384.4 (60) min for ceftriaxone. After a 30 min exposure to ofloxacin, the mean (SD) duration of PAE was 154.7 (52.6) min. There was no detectable PAE after 1 h of exposure to ceftriaxone. For ofloxacin, bactericidal activity and PAE did not significantly differ between isolates with full or intermediate susceptibility provided ofloxacin concentrations were maintained at 4×MIC.ConclusionsInfections with S. Typhi with intermediate ofloxacin susceptibility may respond to doses that maintain ofloxacin concentrations at 4×MIC at the site of infection. The slow bactericidal activity of ceftriaxone and absent PAE may explain the slow clinical response in typhoid.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy

Publication Date





2606 - 2609


Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Vo Van Kiet, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.