Teixobactin provides protection against inhalation anthrax in the rabbit model

William S. Lawrence, Jennifer E. Peel, Satheesh K. Sivasubramani, Wallace B. Baze, Elbert B. Whorton, David W.C. Beasley, Jason E. Comer, Dallas E. Hughes, Losee L. Ling, Johnny W. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The use of antibiotics is a vital means of treating infections caused by the bacteria Bacillus (B.) anthracis. Importantly, with the potential future use of multidrug-resistant strains of B. anthracis as bioweapons, new antibiotics are needed as alternative therapeutics. In this blinded study, we assessed the protective efficacy of teixobactin, a recently discovered antibiotic, against inhalation anthrax infection in the adult rabbit model. New Zealand White rabbits were infected with a lethal dose of B. anthracis Ames spores via the inhalation route, and blood samples were collected at various times to assess antigenemia, bacteremia, tissue bacterial load, and antibody production. Treatments were administered upon detection of B. anthracis protective antigen in the animals’ sera. For comparison, a fully protective dose of levofloxacin was used as a positive control. Rabbits treated with teixobactin showed 100% survival following infection, and the bacteremia was completely resolved by 24–48 h post-treatment. In addition, the bacterial/spore loads in tissues of the animals treated with teixobactin were either zero or dramatically less relative to that of the negative control animals. Moreover, microscopic evaluation of the tissues revealed decreased pathology following treatment with teixobactin. Overall, these results show that teixobactin was protective against inhalation anthrax infection in the rabbit model, and they indicate the potential of teixobactin as a therapeutic for the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number773
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Anthrax
  • Antibiotic
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Infection
  • Inhalation
  • Protective antigen
  • Rabbit model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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