The efficacy of cationic peptides combined with betalactams was investigated in a peritonitis rat model. Intraabdominal sepsis was induced in adult Wistar rats via cecal ligation and single puncture. The study included eight drug-treated groups: each of them received intravenous polymyxin-E (1 mg/kg), buforin II (1 mg/kg), imipenem (20 mg/kg), amoxicillin-clavulanate (50 mg/kg), polymyxin-E (1 mg/kg) plus imipenem (20 mg/kg), or amoxicillin-clavulanate (50 mg/kg), and buforin II (1 mg/kg) plus imipenem (20 mg/kg), or amoxicillin-clavulanate (50 mg/kg). The study included an untreated control group that received intravenous isotonic sodium chloride solution. All compounds significantly reduced the lethality and the number of bacteria in abdominal fluid compared with saline treatment. Among compounds, imipenem showed the highest antimicrobial activity, while buforin II produced the highest reduction in plasma endotoxin and TNF-alpha levels. Overall, buforin II and imipenem association were the most effective therapeutic approach. Data presented here suggest the potential advantages of combining antimicrobial agents and compounds able to neutralize the biological effect of the endotoxin.
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