Solubility, absorption, and anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of bismuth subnitrate and colloidal bismuth subcitrate: In vitro data do not predict in vivo efficacy

R H Phillips, M W Whitehead, S Lacey, M Champion, R P H Thompson, J J Powell

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23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. The aim of this study was to compare the dissolution, bioavailability, and anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of bismuth subnitrate and colloidal bismuth subcitrate. This could, first, provide insights into the mechanism of action of bismuth and, second, help to develop optimal therapeutic strategies. Methods. Solubility and aquated size of bismuth species were determined in human gastric juice, while absorption into blood and urinary excretion of bismuth was determined in volunteers. Activity against H. pylori was determined in vitro in the presence and absence of antibiotics, while H. pylori eradication was compared in vivo. Results. Bismuth from colloidal bismuth subcitrate was at least 10% soluble and ultrafilterable and was absorbed in volunteers (>0.5%), whereas that from bismuth subnitrate was insoluble and not absorbed (<0.01%). Colloidal bismuth subcitrate was active against H. pylori (mean inhibitory concentration, less than or equal to 12.5 mu g/ml), while bismuth subnitrate was inactive (>400 mu g/ml); neither was synergistic with antibiotics. With in vivo triple therapy, bismuth subnitrate was as effective as colloidal bismuth subcitrate in eradicating H. pylori (74% and 70% eradicated, respectively). Conclusions. Colloidal bismuth subcitrate, unlike bismuth subnitrate, is partially soluble, absorbed in humans, and directly toxic to H. pylori in vitro. Surprisingly, however, these preparations had similar efficacy in vivo against H. pylori within triple therapy, suggesting that bismuth compounds may also exhibit indirect antimicrobial effects. We propose that this is an effect on the gastric mucus layer. Nonabsorbable bismuth compounds should be preferentially considered in bismuth-based therapies against H. pylori, as they would minimize toxicity while maintaining efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176 - 182
Number of pages7
JournalHELICOBACTER
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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