Chlorpromazine has intracellular killing activity against phagocytosed Staphylococcus aureus at clinical concentrations

Diane Ordway, Miguel Viveiros, Clara Leandro, Maria Jorge Arroz, Joseph Molnar, Jette E. Kristiansen, Leonard Amaral

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Chlorpromazine (CPZ) has in vitro antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus at concentrations that greatly exceed those achieved clinically. It is concentrated by tissues that are rich in macrophages and it is active against phagocytosed mycobacteria when the concentration in the medium is compatible with that achieved clinically. In this report we show that nontoxic concentrations of CPZ below clinical levels have killing activity against S. aureus phagocytosed by human monocyte-derived macrophages that have nominal killing activity against these bacteria, Little or no resistance to the antimicrobial activity of this compound is anticipated to result because of its large number of cellular targets. Therefore, CPZ may have a role in the management of intracellular staphylococcal infections that normally require the use of antibiotics whose potential toxicity exceeds that associated with short-term management with CPZ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infection and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002



  • Cellular immunity
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Intracellular activity
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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