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May 1979

Induction of Colitis in Hamsters by Topical Application of Antibiotics

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Dermatology), Veterans Administration Hospital, Boston University School of Medicine (Drs Feingold and Chen and Mr Chou), and Tufts University School of Medicine (Dr Chang), Boston.

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(5):580-581. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010050014005

Syrian hamsters are exquisitely sensitive to clindamycin; as little as 1 mg/kg of clindamycin given systemically causes a fatal colitis. Clindamycin and erythromycin were applied topically daily to the shaved backs of Syrian hamsters in a hydroalcoholic vehicle. A daily dose of 0.1 mg of clindamycin was lethal to more than half the hamsters and 1 mg to all the animals. The antibiotic-associated toxin from Clostridium difficile was present in their cecal material. Based on body surface areas and estimated usual volumes applied, the lethal dose in hamsters is not dissimilar to that given humans for acne. Oral tetracycline therapy protected the animals from clindamycin toxicity, but the animals died three days after stopping tetracycline if topical clindamycin applications were continued.

(Arch Dermatol 115:580-581, 1979)

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