Increased mortality in mice following immunoprophylaxis therapy with high dosage of nicotinamide in burkholderia persistent infections

Sofiya N. Micheva-Viteva, Brittany N. Ross, Jun Gao, Samantha Adikari, Pengfei Zhang, Judith R. Mourant, Terry H. Wu, James H. Werner, Alfredo G. Torres, Elizabeth Hong-Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Bacterial persistence, known as noninherited antibacterial resistance, is a factor contributing to the establishment of long-lasting chronic bacterial infections. In this study, we examined the ability of nicotinamide (NA) to potentiate the activity of different classes of antibiotics against Burkholderia thailandensis persister cells. Here we demonstrate that addition of NA in in vitro models of B. thailandensis infection resulted in a significant depletion of the persister population in response to various classes of antibiotics. We applied microfluidic bioreactors with a continuous medium flow to study the effect of supplementation with an NA gradient on the recovery of B. thailandensis persister populations. A coculture of human neutrophils preactivated with 50 M NA and B. thailandensis resulted in the most efficient reduction in the persister population. Applying single-cell RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis and quantitative PCR, we found that NA inhibited gene expression of the stringent response regulator relA, implicated in the regulation of the persister metabolic state. We also demonstrate that a therapeutic dose of NA (250 mg/kg of body weight), previously applied as immunoprophylaxis against antibiotic-resistant bacterial species, produced adverse effects in an in vivo murine model of infection with the highly pathogenic bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, indicating that therapeutic dose and metabolite effects have to be carefully evaluated and tailored for every case of potential clinical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00592
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Bacterial persistence
  • Burkholderia
  • Microfluidics
  • Nicotinamide
  • RelA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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