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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Levels of pyrimethamine in sera and cerebrospinal and ventricular fluids from infants treated for congenital toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis Study Group.

Pyrimethamine levels in sera, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and ventricular fluid were measured by using reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. The specimens were from 37 infants receiving pyrimethamine for treatment of suspect or proven congenital toxoplasmosis. Pyrimethamine half-life in serum was 64 +/- 12 h when determined by study of terminal-phase kinetics of samples obtained from nine babies. This half-life was significantly different (P = 0.008) from the pyrimethamine half-life (33 +/- 12 h) determined by terminal-phase kinetics for two babies of the same age taking phenobarbital. Serum pyrimethamine levels at various intervals after dosages of pyrimethamine were also lower for infants receiving phenobarbital. Levels measured in sera from babies taking the same dose of pyrimethamine throughout their first year of life did not appear to vary significantly over time or at different ages (P greater than 0.05). Mean +/- standard deviation serum levels 4 h after a pyrimethamine dose were 1.297 +/- 0.54 micrograms/ml for babies taking 1 mg of pyrimethamine per kg of body weight daily and 0.7 +/- 0.26 microgram/ml for babies taking 1 mg/kg each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Levels in CSF were approximately 10 to 25% of concomitant levels in serum. Serum folate levels for infants who took 0.64 to 1.7 mg leukovorin per kg ranged from 33 to 663 ng/ml. To determine whether the levels of pyrimethamine in serum and CSF of treated infants were in a range that affected the most virulent, rapidly replicating, and standard laboratory strain of Toxoplasma gondii, effects of various concentrations of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine on replication of T. gondii in vitro were assessed. The levels of the antimicrobial agents effective in vitro were in the range of levels of pyrimethamine achieved in sera and CSF. Although folinic acid could inhibit the therapeutic effect of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine in vitro, inhibition was noted only at levels (> or = 4,800 ng/ml) that were considerably higher than the folate levels found in the treated infants' sera.[1]


  1. Levels of pyrimethamine in sera and cerebrospinal and ventricular fluids from infants treated for congenital toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis Study Group. McLeod, R., Mack, D., Foss, R., Boyer, K., Withers, S., Levin, S., Hubbell, J. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1992) [Pubmed]
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