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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 530815, 5 pages
Research Article

Mefloquine and Its Enantiomers Are Active against Mycobacterium tuberculosis In Vitro and in Macrophages

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, 105 Magruder Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
2Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Sciences, Oregon State University, 107 Dryden Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA

Received 21 August 2014; Accepted 14 November 2014; Published 11 December 2014

Academic Editor: T. Ottenhoff

Copyright © 2014 Luiz E. Bermudez and Laura Meek. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Tuberculosis is a serious problem of public health. The increase on the number of clinical cases of tuberculosis infected with multidrug resistant (MDR) M. tuberculosis calls for the development of novel therapy. Design. We investigated the effect of mefloquine and two enantiomers, (+)erythro-mefloquine and (+)threo-mefloquine against M. tuberculosis strains in the environment resembling the aspects of the granuloma environment and in macrophages. Results. The results suggest that mefloquine (racemic mixture) and (+)erythro-mefloquine have bactericidal activity against M. tuberculosis strains both in acidic, low oxygen tension and in macrophages. The activity, however, was impaired under increased osmolarity. Conclusion. Identification of the target for mefloquine in the pathogen will allow for the development of novel drugs with antituberculosis activity.