Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Griseofulvin


Recent estimates suggest that >300 million people are afflicted by serious fungal infections worldwide. Current antifungal drugs are static and toxic and/or have a narrow spectrum of activity. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of new antifungal drugs. The fungal sphingolipid glucosylceramide (GlcCer) is critical in promoting virulence of a variety of human-pathogenic fungi. In this study, we screened a synthetic drug library for compounds that target the synthesis of fungal, but not mammalian, GlcCer and found two compounds [N'-(3-bromo-4-hydroxybenzylidene)-2-methylbenzohydrazide (BHBM) and its derivative, 3-bromo-N'-(3-bromo-4-hydroxybenzylidene) benzohydrazide (D0)] that were highly effective in vitro and in vivo against several pathogenic fungi. BHBM and D0 were well tolerated in animals and are highly synergistic or additive to current antifungals. BHBM and D0 significantly affected fungal cell morphology and resulted in the accumulation of intracellular vesicles. Deep-sequencing analysis of drug-resistant mutants revealed that four protein products, encoded by genes APL5, COS111, MKK1, and STE2, which are involved in vesicular transport and cell cycle progression, are targeted by BHBM.

Concepts: Bacteria, Chromosome, Fungus, Cell cycle, In vitro, Antifungal drug, Athlete's foot, Griseofulvin


BACKGROUND: Incorporation of the solubilizing excipient, sulfobutylether-beta-cyclodextrin (SBECD), in the intravenous (IV) formulation of voriconazole has resulted in the recommendation that this formulation be used with caution in patients with creatinine clearances (Clcr) < 50 mL/min. This study evaluated the safety of IV voriconazole compared with two other IV antifungals not containing SBECD in patients with compromised renal function. METHODS: A total of 128 patients aged 11--93 years who had a baseline Clcr < 50 mL/min between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010 were identified from a database of a university-affiliated inpatient healthcare system; of these, 55 patients received caspofungin, 54 patients received fluconazole, and 19 patients received voriconazole. Changes in serum creatinine (Scr) and Clcr levels while on therapy were compared with baseline values and between groups. RESULTS: The groups had similar characteristics apart from the larger proportion of females that received fluconazole. Baseline Scr was higher in those receiving caspofungin, but maximal increases of Scr and decreases in Clcr were greatest for the fluconazole group. Acute kidney injury (AKI), assessed by RIFLE criteria, was more frequent in the fluconazole vs. the caspofungin group (p < 0.01); incidence of AKI in the voriconazole group was not significantly different than found in the other two groups. The infecting organism was a predictor of AKI and formulation with SBECD was not. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of fungal infections in patients with compromised renal function with an SBECD-containing antifungal agent was not associated with AKI in clinical practice. Since the infecting organism was associated with AKI, decision on which antifungal to use should be determined by susceptibilities to the organism and not the incorporation of SBECD in the IV formulation.

Concepts: Renal failure, Renal physiology, Blood urea nitrogen, Antifungals, Candidiasis, Antifungal drug, Athlete's foot, Griseofulvin


F901318 is an antifungal agent with a novel mechanism of action and potent activity against Aspergillus spp. An understanding of the pharmacodynamics (PD) of F901318 is required for selection of effective regimens for study in phase II and III clinical trials. Neutropenic murine and rabbit models of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis were used. The primary PD endpoint was serum galactomannan. The relationships between drug exposure and the impacts of dose fractionation on galactomannan, survival, and histopathology were determined. The results were benchmarked against a clinically relevant exposure of posaconazole. In the murine model, administration of a total daily dose of 24 mg/kg of body weight produced consistently better responses with increasingly fractionated regimens. The ratio of the minimum total plasma concentration/MIC (Cmin/MIC) was the PD index that best linked drug exposure with observed effect. An average Cmin (mg/liter) and Cmin/MIC of 0.3 and 9.1, respectively, resulted in antifungal effects equivalent to the effect of posaconazole at the upper boundary of its expected human exposures. This pattern was confirmed in a rabbit model, where Cmin and Cmin/MIC targets of 0.1 and 3.3, respectively, produced effects previously reported for expected human exposures of isavuconazole. These targets were independent of triazole susceptibility. The pattern of maximal effect evident with these drug exposure targets was also apparent when survival and histopathological clearance were used as study endpoints. F901318 exhibits time-dependent antifungal activity. The PD targets can now be used to select regimens for phase II and III clinical trials.IMPORTANCE Invasive fungal infections are common and often lethal. There are relatively few antifungal agents licensed for clinical use. Antifungal drug toxicity and the emergence of drug resistance make the treatment of these infections very challenging. F901318 is the first in a new class of antifungal agents called the orotomides. This class has a novel mechanism of action that involves the inhibition of the fungal enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase. F901318 is being developed for clinical use. A deep understanding of the relationship between dosages, drug concentrations in the body, and the antifungal effect is fundamental to the identification of the regimens to administer to patients with invasive fungal infections. This study provides the necessary information to ensure that the right dose of F901318 is used the first time. Such an approach considerably reduces the risks in drug development programs and ensures that patients with few therapeutic options can receive potentially life-saving antifungal therapy at the earliest opportunity.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Aspergillosis, Aspergillus, Antifungals, Antifungal drug, Athlete's foot, Griseofulvin


Because of the low prevalence of onychomycosis in children, little is known about the efficacy and safety of systemic antifungals in this population. PubMed and Embase databases and the references of related publications were searched in March 2012 for clinical trials (CTs), retrospective analyses (RAs), and case reports (CRs) on the use of systemic antifungals for onychomycosis in children (<18 years). Twenty-six studies (5 CTs, 3 RAs, and 18 CRs) were published between 1976 and 2011. Most of these studies reported the use of systemic terbinafine and itraconazole for the treatment of onychomycosis in children. Therapy with systemic antifungals alone in children age 1 to 17 years resulted in a complete cure rate of 70.8% (n = 151), whereas combined systemic and topical antifungal therapy in one infant and 19 children age 8 and older resulted in a complete cure rate of 80.0% (n = 20). The efficacy and safety profiles of terbinafine, itraconazole, griseofulvin, and fluconazole in children were similar to those previously reported for adults. In conclusion, based on the little information available on onychomycosis in children, systemic antifungal therapies in children are safe and cure rates are similar to the rates achieved in adults.

Concepts: Medicine, Therapy, Antifungals, Antifungal drug, Onychomycosis, Athlete's foot, Fluconazole, Griseofulvin


A novel model of infected nail plate for testing the efficacy of topical antifungal formulations has been developed. This model utilized keratin film made of human hair keratin as a nail plate model. Subsequent to infection by T. rubrum, the common causative agent of onychomycosis, keratin films as infected nail plate models were treated with selected topical formulations, i.e., cream, gel and nail lacquer. Bovine hoof was compared to keratin film. In contrast to the common antifungal susceptibility test, the antifungal drugs tested were applied as ready-to-use formulations because the vehicle may modify and control the drug action both in vitro and in vivo. Extrapolating the potency of an antifungal drug from an in vitro susceptibility test only would not be representative of the in vivo situation since these drugs are applied as ready-to-use formulations, e.g., as a nail lacquer. Although terbinafine has been acknowledged to be the most effective antifungal agent against T. rubrum, its antifungal efficacy was improved by its incorporation into an optimal formulation. Different gels proved superior to cream. Therefore, this study is able to discriminate between efficacies of different topical antifungal formulations based on their activities against T. rubrum.

Concepts: Antifungals, Keratin, Antifungal drug, Onychomycosis, Athlete's foot, Griseofulvin, Ketoconazole, Ringworm


Candida species are responsible for many opportunistic fungal infections. Fluconazole is a well-tolerated antifungal drug, commonly used in the treatment of Candidiasis. However, with fluconazole resistance ever increasing, rapid detection and antifungal susceptibility testing of Candida is imperative for proper patient treatment. Presented herein is a cost-effective, simple, and rapid chromogenic agar dilution method for simultaneous Candida species identification and fluconazole susceptibility testing. The results obtained by X-Plate Technology were in absolute concordance with standard microbroth dilution assays. Analysis of 1383 clinical patient samples with suspected vulvovaginal Candidiasis revealed that this technology was able to detect and speciate the Candida isolate and determine the fluconazole susceptibility. The prevalence and susceptibility profiles of the clinical isolates using this method were highly similar to published reports using the microbroth dilution method.

Concepts: Opportunistic infection, Antifungals, Candidiasis, Antifungal drug, Athlete's foot, Fluconazole, Griseofulvin, Ketoconazole


The incidence of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) has seen a marked increase in the last two decades. This is especially evident among transplant recipients, patients suffering from AIDS, in addition to those in receipt of immunosuppressive therapy. Worryingly, this increased incidence includes infections caused by opportunistic fungi and emerging fungal infections which are resistant to or certainly less susceptible than others to standard antifungal agents. As a direct response to this phenomenon, there has been a resolute effort over the past several decades to improve early and accurate diagnosis and provide reliable screening protocols thereby promoting the administration of appropriate antifungal therapy for fungal infections. Early diagnosis and treatment with antifungal therapy are vital if a patient is to survive an IFI. Substantial advancements have been made with regard to both the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of an IFI. In parallel, stark changes in the epidemiological profile of these IFIs have similarly occurred, often in direct response the type of antifungal agent being administered. The effects of an IFI can be far reaching, ranging from increased morbidity and mortality to increased length hospital stays and economic burden.

Concepts: Opportunistic infection, Antifungal drug, Athlete's foot, Griseofulvin


Efinaconazole 10 % solution is a new triazole antifungal agent developed for the topical treatment of fungal infections of the nails. The current study examined the effect of intratympanic application of efinaconazole 10 % solution in the guinea pig ear. Sixteen male Hartley guinea pigs (weight 501-620 g) were divided into 3 groups to be treated with efinaconazole 10 % solution, gentamicin (50 mg/mL), or saline solution. Topical solutions of 0.2 mL were applied through a small hole made at the tympanic bulla once daily for 7 consecutive days. Post-intervention auditory brainstem responses were obtained 7 days after the last treatment. The extent of middle ear damage and hair cell loss was investigated. The efinaconazole- and gentamicin-treated groups showed severe deterioration in auditory brainstem response threshold. Middle ear examination revealed extensive changes in the efinaconazole-treated group and medium changes in the gentamicin-treated group. Hair cells were preserved in the efinaconazole- and saline-treated groups, but severe damage was seen in the gentamicin group. In conclusion, efinaconazole 10 % solution applied intratympanically to the guinea pig middle ear caused significant middle ear inflammation and hearing impairment.

Concepts: Auditory system, Cochlea, Auditory brainstem response, Ear, Guinea pigs, Hearing, Griseofulvin, Guinea pig


Tinea infections are caused by dermatophytes and are classified by the involved site. The most common infections in prepubertal children are tinea corporis and tinea capitis, whereas adolescents and adults are more likely to develop tinea cruris, tinea pedis, and tinea unguium (onychomycosis). The clinical diagnosis can be unreliable because tinea infections have many mimics, which can manifest identical lesions. For example, tinea corporis can be confused with eczema, tinea capitis can be confused with alopecia areata, and onychomycosis can be confused with dystrophic toenails from repeated low-level trauma. Physicians should confirm suspected onychomycosis and tinea capitis with a potassium hydroxide preparation or culture. Tinea corporis, tinea cruris, and tinea pedis generally respond to inexpensive topical agents such as terbinafine cream or butenafine cream, but oral antifungal agents may be indicated for extensive disease, failed topical treatment, immunocompromised patients, or severe moccasin-type tinea pedis. Oral terbinafine is first-line therapy for tinea capitis and onychomycosis because of its tolerability, high cure rate, and low cost. However, kerion should be treated with griseofulvin unless Trichophyton has been documented as the pathogen. Failure to treat kerion promptly can lead to scarring and permanent hair loss.

Concepts: Antifungal drug, Onychomycosis, Athlete's foot, Fungal diseases, Griseofulvin, Terbinafine, Mycosis-related cutaneous conditions, Dermatophytosis


Human fungal pathogens cause over 2 million infections per year and are major drivers of morbidity and mortality. Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans are two of the most common fungal pathogens of humans, together accounting for a staggering 1.4 million infections annually, with very high mortality rates. Patients with dysfunctional immune systems, such as individuals with HIV/AIDS, are particularly susceptible to fungal infections. Unfortunately, relatively few antifungal drugs are currently available and fungi frequently develop resistance, further complicating treatment approaches. In this study, we screened the Pathogen Box chemical library (Medicines for Malaria Venture, Switzerland) in an effort to identify novel antifungal compounds. This approach led to the discovery of a novel, highly potent antifungal agent with activity against both C. neoformans and C. albicans. Our initial study of the mechanism of action suggested that this novel compound prevents fungal proliferation by targeting the ability of C. neoformans to withstand stress at the plasma membrane and cell wall. Because this compound had previously been shown to have low toxicity for mammalian cells, we propose that it represents an attractive lead compound for further antifungal drug development. IMPORTANCECryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans are two major human fungal pathogens and together account for over 1.4 million infections annually, with very high mortality rates. These fungi often infect immunocompromised individuals, such as HIV/AIDS patients. In an effort to identify novel drugs with antifungal activity, we have screened the Pathogen Box for compounds with anticryptococcal and anticandidal activities. This approach led to the discovery of a promising lead compound (MMV688271) with strong antifungal potency under nutrient-limited conditions.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Opportunistic infection, Fungus, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candidiasis, Athlete's foot, Griseofulvin