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Open Access Research article

Tolerability of inhaled N-chlorotaurine in an acute pig streptococcal lower airway inflammation model

Martin Schwienbacher1, Benedikt Treml2, Anna Pinna3, Ralf Geiger1, Hannes Reinstadler2, Iris Pircher2, Elisabeth Schmidl2, Christian Willomitzer2, Johannes Neumeister2, Michael Pilch2, Maria Hauer2, Thomas Hager4, Consolato Sergi4, Sabine Scholl-Bürgi1, Thomas Giese5, Alexander Löckinger2 and Markus Nagl3*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Cardiology, Pulmology, Allergology and Cystic Fibrosis, and Division of Neonatology, Neuropediatrics and Inborn errors of metabolism, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria

2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria

3 Department of Hygiene, Microbiology and Social Medicine, Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria

4 Institute of Pathology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria, and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

5 Department of Immunology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:231  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-231

Published: 29 August 2011



Inhalation of N-chlorotaurine (NCT), an endogenous new broad spectrum non-antibiotic anti-infective, has been shown to be very well tolerated in the pig model recently. In the present study, inhaled NCT was tested for tolerability and efficacy in the infected bronchopulmonary system using the same model.


Anesthetized pigs were inoculated with 20 ml of a solution containing approximately 108 CFU/ml Streptococcus pyogenes strain d68 via a duodenal tube placed through the tracheal tube down to the carina. Two hours later, 5 ml of 1% NCT aqueous solution (test group, n = 15) or 5 ml of 0.9% NaCl (control group, n = 16) was inhaled via the tracheal tube connected to a nebulizer. Inhalation was repeated every hour, four times in total. Lung function and haemodynamics were monitored. Bronchoalveolar lavage samples were removed for determination of colony forming units (CFU), and lung samples for histology.


Arterial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) decreased rapidly after instillation of the bacteria in all animals and showed only a slight further decrease at the end of the experiment without a difference between both groups. Pulmonary artery pressure increased to a peak 1-1.5 h after application of the bacteria, decreased in the following hour and remained constant during treatment, again similarly in both groups. Histology demonstrated granulocytic infiltration in the central parts of the lung, while this was absent in the periphery. Expression of TNF-alpha, IL-8, and haemoxygenase-1 in lung biopsies was similar in both groups. CFU counts in bronchoalveolar lavage came to 170 (10; 1388) CFU/ml (median and 25 and 75 percentiles) for the NCT treated pigs, and to 250 (10; 5.5 × 105) CFU/ml for NaCl treated pigs (p = 0.4159).


Inhaled NCT at a concentration of 1% proved to be very well tolerated also in the infected bronchopulmonary system. This study confirms the tolerability in this delicate body region, which has been proven in healthy pigs previously. Regarding efficacy, no conclusions can be drawn, mainly because of the limited test period of the model.