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Mitochondrial OXPHOS function is unaffected by chronic azithromycin treatment.

  • Researchers

    Negari SB, Aouizerat T, Tenenbaum A, Cohen-Cymberknoh M, Shoseyov D, Kerem E, Saada A.

  • Place of research

    Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, Israel & Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Ohio, USA.

  • Publication

    Journal of Cystic Fibrosis / May 2013

  • Subjects

  • Mitochondria are miniature "power stations" providing energy to cells via complex processes (OXPHOS) in order that they function well . The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of long term azithromycin treatment on mitochondrial function.

  • Why is this important?

    Patients with CF are often treated with azithromycin for extended periods of time in order to prevent pulmonary infections.
    Azithromycin belongs to a group of antibiotics that may interfere with how the mitochondria work, and their ability to provide energy. As such it is theoretically possible that they could cause side effects.

  • What did you do?

    We measured markers related to mitochondrial energy production in white blood cells, which were obtained from children with CF receiving long term azithromycin treatment.

  • What did you find?

    We did not find any significant differences between the children on long term azithromycin, the patients with CF who were not on azithromycin, and groups of children who did not have CF.

  • What does this mean and reasons for caution?

    Long term azithromycin treatment appears to have no negative effect on mitochondrial energy production in white blood cells. Caution should still be exerted since our results do not entirely rule out side effects in other tissues.

  • What's next?

    Further investigation is warranted in a larger cohort and in other tissues to confirm our data.