Mycobacterium gordonae Infection Medication

Updated: Jul 24, 2019
  • Author: Klaus-Dieter Lessnau, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

While the most effective treatment regimen has not been established, in vitro susceptibilities suggest clarithromycin and, possibly, azithromycin, quinolones (eg, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin), and ethambutol as treatment options. Rifabutin may be beneficial, and rifampin has shown variable results.

In vivo activity of doxycycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is not known.

M gordonae has been shown to be resistant to isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and streptomycin.

The recommended duration of therapy is not established.



Class Summary

Empiric antimycobacterial therapy must be comprehensive.

Clarithromycin (Biaxin)

Inhibits bacterial growth, possibly by blocking dissociation of peptidyl tRNA from ribosomes, causing RNA-dependent protein synthesis to arrest. Very active drug for nontuberculous mycobacterial disease, but acquired resistance from monotherapy is a concern.

Ethambutol (Myambutol)

Standard drug for nontuberculous mycobacterial disease. Diffuses into actively growing mycobacterial cells and impairs cell metabolism by inhibiting synthesis of one or more metabolites, which, in turn, causes cell death. No cross-resistance demonstrated. Mycobacterial resistance is frequent with previous therapy. Use in these patients in combination with second-line drugs that have not previously been administered. Administer qd until permanent bacteriological conversion and maximal clinical improvement is observed. Absorption not significantly altered by food.

Levofloxacin (Levaquin)

May be useful. Aide effects are very rare (eg, GI or CNS abnormalities, tendinitis). For treatment of mycobacterial infection in combination with rifampin and other antituberculosis agents.

Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)

For use in combination with at least one other antituberculous drug. Inhibits DNA-dependent bacterial but not mammalian RNA polymerase. Cross-resistance may occur. Often used for nontuberculous mycobacterial disease.

Rifabutin (Mycobutin)

Ansamycin antibiotic derived from rifamycin S. Inhibits DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, preventing chain initiation in susceptible strains of Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis but not in mammalian cells. If GI upset occurs, administer dose bid with food. May be more active with nontuberculous species.

Azithromycin (Zithromax)

Treats mild-to-moderate microbial infections. Dosing qwk is possible.