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Treatment of Mycobacterium avium complex pulmonary disease (MAC-PD) is challenging partly due to high efflux pump expression. Thioridazine might block these efflux pumps. We explore the efficacy of thioridazine against M. avium isolates using MICs, time-kill combination assays, ex vivo macrophage infection assays, and efflux assays. Thioridazine is bactericidal against M. avium, inhibits intracellular growth at 2× MIC, and blocks ethidium bromide efflux. However, its toxicity and low plasma concentrations make it unlikely to add efficacy to MAC-PD therapy.

Original publication





Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Publication Date





Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases, Department of Medical Microbiology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Humans, Mycobacterium avium Complex, Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection, Thioridazine, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Microbial Sensitivity Tests