ResearchPad - amphotericin https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Simultaneous administration of imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam with selected intravenous antimicrobials, a stewardship approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15724 Imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam is a β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor that has been recently FDA approved for complicated intra-abdominal and urinary tract infections under the brand name Recarbrio®. It has activity against imipenem non-susceptible Pseudomonas species as well as KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Optimization of PK/PD of antimicrobials particularly in critically-ill patients is essential, but unfortunately, is hindered by separate administration that requires significant resources. The objective of the study is to investigate the compatibility of Y-site administration of imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam with a wide range of antimicrobials. After admixture, physical characteristics, pH changes and turbidity were measured for each 2-drug combination at a time. With the exception of amphotericin B deoxycholate, and posaconazole, imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam was compatible with a variety of antimicrobial agents. The compatibility profile described, will facilitate incorporation into hospital protocols, contribute to therapy optimization and guide clinicians to avoid successive administration, consequently resulting in reduction of total infusion time, optimization of PK/PD, economizing nursing time and cost containment.

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<![CDATA[Candida lusitaniae in Kuwait: Prevalence, antifungal susceptibility and role in neonatal fungemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accced5eed0c484990063

Objectives

Candida lusitaniae is an opportunistic yeast pathogen in certain high-risk patient populations/cohorts. The species exhibits an unusual antifungal susceptibility profile with tendency to acquire rapid resistance. Here, we describe prevalence of C. lusitaniae in clinical specimens in Kuwait, its antifungal susceptibility profile and role in neonatal fungemia.

Methods

Clinical C. lusitaniae isolates recovered from diverse specimens during 2011 to 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. All isolates were identified by germ tube test, growth on CHROMagar Candida and by Vitek 2 yeast identification system. A simple species-specific PCR assay was developed and results were confirmed by PCR-sequencing of ITS region of rDNA. Antifungal susceptibility was determined by Etest. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were recorded after 24 h incubation at 35°C.

Results

Of 7068 yeast isolates, 134 (1.89%) were identified as C. lusitaniae including 25 (2.52%) among 990 bloodstream isolates. Species-specific PCR and PCR-sequencing of rDNA confirmed identification. Of 11 cases of neonatal candidemia, 9 occurred in NICU of Hospital A and are described here. Eight of 9 neonates received liposomal amphotericin B, which was followed by fluconazole in 7 and additionally by caspofungin in 2 cases as salvage therapy. Three of 8 (37.5%) patients died. No isolate exhibited reduced susceptibility to amphotericin B, fluconazole, voriconazole, caspopfungin, micafungin and anidulafungin. The MIC ± geometric mean values for amphotericin B, fluconazole, voriconazole, and caspofungin were as follows: 0.072 ± 0.037 μg/ml, 2.32 ± 0.49 μg/ml, 0.09 ± 0.01 μg/ml and 0.16 ± 0.08 μg/ml, respectively. Only two isolates exhibited reduced susceptibility to fluconazole.

Conclusions

This study describes the prevalence and antifungal susceptibility profile of clinical C. lusitaniae isolates in Kuwait. No isolate showed reduced susceptibility to amphotericin B. The study highlights the emerging role of C. lusitaniae as a healthcare-associated pathogen capable of causing fungemia in preterm neonates and causing significant mortality.

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<![CDATA[In vitro activity and mode of action of phenolic compounds on Leishmania donovani]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95f4d5eed0c48473501e

Background

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the protozoan parasite, Leishmania. The disease remains a global threat to public health requiring effective chemotherapy for control and treatment. In this study, the effect of some selected phenolic compounds on Leishmania donovani was investigated. The compounds were screened for their anti-leishmanial activities against promastigote and intracellular amastigote forms of Leishmania donovani.

Methodology/Principal findings

The dose dependent effect and cytotoxicity of the compounds were determined by the MTT assay. Flow cytometry was used to determine the effect of the compounds on the cell cycle. Parasite morphological analysis was done by microscopy and growth kinetic studies were conducted by culturing cells and counting at 24 hours intervals over 120 hours. The cellular levels of iron in promastigotes treated with compounds was determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy and the effect of compounds on the expression of iron dependent enzymes was investigated using RT-qPCR.

The IC50 of the compounds ranged from 16.34 μM to 198 μM compared to amphotericin B and deferoxamine controls. Rosmarinic acid and apigenin were the most effective against the promastigote and the intracellular amastigote forms. Selectivity indexes (SI) of rosmarinic acid and apigenin were 15.03 and 10.45 respectively for promastigotes while the SI of 12.70 and 5.21 respectively was obtained for intracellular amastigotes. Morphologically, 70% of rosmarinic acid treated promastigotes showed rounded morphology similar to the deferoxamine control. About 30% of cells treated with apigenin showed distorted cell membrane. Rosmarinic acid and apigenin induced cell arrest in the G0/G1 phase in promastigotes. Elevated intracellular iron levels were observed in promastigotes when parasites were treated with rosmarinic acid and this correlated with the level of expression of iron dependent genes.

Conclusions/Significance

The data suggests that rosmarinic acid exerts its anti-leishmanial effect via iron chelation resulting in variable morphological changes and cell cycle arrest.

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<![CDATA[Efficacy of liposomal amphotericin B and anidulafungin using an antifungal lock technique (ALT) for catheter-related Candida albicans and Candida glabrata infections in an experimental model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac7dd5eed0c484d088b2

Objective

The aims of this study were as follows. First, we sought to compare the in vitro susceptibility of liposomal amphotericin B (LAmB) and anidulafungin on Candida albicans and Candida glabrata biofilms growing on silicone discs. Second, we sought to compare the activity of LAmB versus anidulafungin for the treatment of experimental catheter-related C. albicans and C. glabrata infections with the antifungal lock technique in a rabbit model.

Methods

Two C. albicans and two C. glabrata clinical strains were used. The minimum biofilm eradication concentration for 90% eradication (MBEC90) values were determined after 48h of treatment with LAmB and anidulafungin. Confocal microscopy was used to visualize the morphology and viability of yeasts growing in biofilms. Central venous catheters were inserted into New Zealand rabbits, which were inoculated of each strain of C. albicans and C. glabrata. Then, catheters were treated for 48h with saline or with antifungal lock technique using either LAmB (5mg/mL) or anidulafungin (3.33mg/mL).

Results

In vitro: anidulafungin showed greater activity than LAmB against C. albicans and C. glabrata strains. For C. albicans: MBEC90 of anidulafungin versus LAmB: CA176, 0.03 vs. 128 mg/L; CA180, 0.5 vs. 64 mg/L. For C. glabrata: MBEC90 of anidulafungin versus LAmB: CG171, 0.5 vs. 64 mg/L; CG334, 2 vs. 32 mg/L. In vivo: for C. albicans species, LAmB and anidulafungin achieved significant reductions relative to growth control of log10 cfu recovered from the catheter tips (CA176: 3.6±0.3 log10 CFU, p≤0.0001; CA180: 3.8±0.1 log10 CFU, p≤0.01). For C. glabrata, anidulafungin lock therapy achieved significant reductions relative to the other treatments (CG171: 4.8 log10 CFU, p≤0.0001; CG334: 5.1 log10 CFU, p≤0.0001)

Conclusions

For the C. albicans strains, both LAmB and anidulafungin may be promising antifungal lock technique for long-term catheter-related infections; however, anidulafungin showed significantly higher activity than LAmB against the C. glabrata strains.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of a national cryptococcal antigen screening program for HIV-infected patients in Uganda: A cost-effectiveness modeling analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7dad5eed0c484386afb

Background

Cryptococcal meningitis accounts for 15% of AIDS-related mortality. Cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) is detected in blood weeks before onset of meningitis, and CrAg positivity is an independent predictor of meningitis and death. CrAg screening for patients with advanced HIV and preemptive treatment is recommended by the World Health Organization, though implementation remains limited. Our objective was to evaluate costs and mortality reduction (lives saved) from a national CrAg screening program across Uganda.

Methods

We created a decision analytic model to evaluate CrAg screening. CrAg screening was considered for those with a CD4<100 cells/μL per national and international guidelines, and in the context of a national HIV test-and-treat program where CD4 testing was not available. Costs (2016 USD) were estimated for screening, preemptive therapy, hospitalization, and maintenance therapy. Parameter assumptions were based on large prospective CrAg screening studies in Uganda, and clinical trials from sub Saharan Africa. CrAg positive (CrAg+) persons could be: (a) asymptomatic and thus eligible for preemptive treatment with fluconazole; or (b) symptomatic with meningitis with hospitalization.

Results

In the base case model for 1 million persons with a CD4 test annually, 128,000 with a CD4<100 cells/μL were screened, and 8,233 were asymptomatic CrAg+ and received preemptive therapy. Compared to no screening and treatment, CrAg screening and treatment in the base case cost $3,356,724 compared to doing nothing, and saved 7,320 lives, for a cost of $459 per life saved, with the $3.3 million in cost savings derived from fewer patients developing fulminant meningitis. In the scenario of a national HIV test-and-treat program, of 1 million HIV-infected persons, 800,000 persons were screened, of whom 640,000 returned to clinic, and 8,233 were incident CrAg positive (CrAg prevalence 1.4%). The total cost of a CrAg screening and treatment program was $4.16 million dollars, with 2,180 known deaths. Conversely, without CrAg screening, the cost of treating meningitis was $3.09 million dollars with 3,806 deaths. Thus, despite the very low CrAg prevalence of 1.4% in the general HIV-infected population, and inadequate retention-in-care, CrAg screening averted 43% of deaths from cryptococcal meningitis at a cost of $662 per death averted.

Conclusion

CrAg screening and treatment programs are cost-saving and lifesaving, assuming preemptive treatment is 77% effective in preventing death, and could be adopted and implemented by ministries of health to reduce mortality in those with advanced HIV disease. Even within HIV test-and-treat programs where CD4 testing is not performed, and CrAg prevalence is only 1.4%, CrAg screening is cost-effective.

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<![CDATA[Development of NanoLuc-PEST expressing Leishmania mexicana as a new drug discovery tool for axenic- and intramacrophage-based assays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c09a483d5eed0c4842ca928

The protozoan parasite Leishmania causes leishmaniasis; a spectrum of diseases of which there are an estimated 1 million new cases each year. Current treatments are toxic, expensive, difficult to administer, and resistance to them is emerging. New therapeutics are urgently needed, however, screening the infective amastigote form of the parasite is challenging. Only certain species can be differentiated into axenic amastigotes, and compound activity against these does not always correlate with efficacy against the parasite in its intracellular niche. Methods used to assess compound efficacy on intracellular amastigotes often rely on microscopy-based assays. These are laborious, require specialist equipment and can only determine parasite burden, not parasite viability. We have addressed this clear need in the anti-leishmanial drug discovery process by producing a transgenic L. mexicana cell line that expresses the luciferase NanoLuc-PEST. We tested the sensitivity and versatility of this transgenic strain, in comparison with strains expressing NanoLuc and the red-shifted firefly luciferase. We then compared the NanoLuc-PEST luciferase to the current methods in both axenic and intramacrophage amastigotes following treatment with a supralethal dose of Amphotericin B. NanoLuc-PEST was a more dynamic indicator of cell viability due to its high turnover rate and high signal:background ratio. This, coupled with its sensitivity in the intramacrophage assay, led us to validate the NanoLuc-PEST expressing cell line using the MMV Pathogen Box in a two-step process: i) identify hits against axenic amastigotes, ii) screen these hits using our bioluminescence-based intramacrophage assay. The data obtained from this highlights the potential of compounds active against M. tuberculosis to be re-purposed for use against Leishmania. Our transgenic L. mexicana cell line is therefore a highly sensitive and dynamic system suitable for Leishmania drug discovery in axenic and intramacrophage amastigote models.

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<![CDATA[Early Fungicidal Activity as a Candidate Surrogate Endpoint for All-Cause Mortality in Cryptococcal Meningitis: A Systematic Review of the Evidence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b658f7

Background

Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) is a leading cause of HIV-associated mortality. In clinical trials evaluating treatments for CM, biomarkers of early fungicidal activity (EFA) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) have been proposed as candidate surrogate endpoints for all- cause mortality (ACM). However, there has been no systematic evaluation of the group-level or trial-level evidence for EFA as a candidate surrogate endpoint for ACM.

Methods

We conducted a systematic review of randomized trials in treatment of CM to evaluate available evidence for EFA measured as culture negativity at 2 weeks/10 weeks and slope of EFA as candidate surrogate endpoints for ACM. We performed sensitivity analysis on superiority trials and high quality trials as determined by Cochrane measures of trial bias.

Results

Twenty-seven trials including 2854 patients met inclusion criteria. Mean ACM was 15.8% at 2 weeks and 27.0% at 10 weeks with no overall significant difference between test and control groups. There was a statistically significant group-level correlation between average EFA and ACM at 10 weeks but not at 2 weeks. There was also no statistically significant group-level correlation between CFU culture negativity at 2weeks/10weeks or average EFA slope at 10 weeks. A statistically significant trial-level correlation was identified between EFA slope and ACM at 2 weeks, but is likely misleading, as there was no treatment effect on ACM.

Conclusions

Mortality remains high in short time periods in CM clinical trials. Using published data and Institute of Medicine criteria, evidence for use of EFA as a surrogate endpoint for ACM is insufficient and could provide misleading results from clinical trials. ACM should be used as a primary endpoint evaluating treatments for cryptococcal meningitis.

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<![CDATA[Increasing incidence of mucormycosis in a large Spanish hospital from 2007 to 2015: Epidemiology and microbiological characterization of the isolates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be0449

We studied 19 cases of proven/probable mucormycosis diagnosed from 2007 to 2015 in our hospital and assessed the microbiological characteristics of the isolates. We recorded the incidence of mucormycosis and clinical and microbiological data of infected patients. Isolates were identified to molecular level and tested for their antifungal susceptibility to azoles, amphotericin B, and liposomal amphotericin B according to the CLSI M-38 A2 procedure. The incidence of mucormycosis in cases/100,000 hospital admissions during 2007–2015 increased significantly with respect to that reported in 1988–2006 (3.3 vs. 1.2; P<0.05). Patients mainly had hematological malignancies (52.6%) and/or trauma/surgical wounds (52.6%) and had received antifungal agents before the diagnosis of mucormycosis in 68% of cases. Diagnosis was by isolation (n = 17/19) and/or direct staining (n = 17/18) of Mucorales fungi in clinical samples. Identification was by panfungal PCR in patients with negative results in culture and in direct staining. The microorganisms identified were Lichtheimia spp. (42%), Rhizopus spp. (21%), Cunninghamella bertholletiae (16%), and others (21%). Liposomal amphotericin B was always more active than the other drugs against all the microorganisms except C. bertholletiae. All patients received antifungal treatment with 1 or more antifungal agents, mainly liposomal amphotericin B (17/19). Mortality was 47.4%, although this was significantly lower in the 11 patients in whom debridement was performed (18% vs. 87.5%) (P = 0.015). The incidence of mucormycosis has risen in recent years. The proportion of cases with soft tissue involvement was high, and Lichtheimia was the most frequently involved species. The highest antifungal activity was observed with liposomal amphotericin B.

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<![CDATA[Apoptosis-like cell death in Leishmania donovani treated with KalsomeTM10, a new liposomal amphotericin B]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb8cf

Objective

The present study aimed to elucidate the cell death mechanism in Leishmania donovani upon treatment with KalsomeTM10, a new liposomal amphotericin B.

Methodology/Principal findings

We studied morphological alterations in promastigotes through phase contrast and scanning electron microscopy. Phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and disruption of mitochondrial integrity was determined by flow cytometry using annexinV-FITC, JC-1 and mitotraker, respectively. For analysing oxidative stress, generation of H2O2 (bioluminescence kit) and mitochondrial superoxide O2 (mitosox) were measured. DNA fragmentation was evaluated using terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) and DNA laddering assay. We found that KalsomeTM10 is more effective then Ambisome against the promastigote as well as intracellular amastigote forms. The mechanistic study showed that KalsomeTM10 induced several morphological alterations in promastigotes typical of apoptosis. KalsomeTM10 treatment showed a dose- and time-dependent exposure of PS in promastigotes. Further, study on mitochondrial pathway revealed loss of mitochondrial membrane potential as well as disruption in mitochondrial integrity with depletion of intracellular pool of ATP. KalsomeTM10 treated promastigotes showed increased ROS production, diminished GSH levels and increased caspase-like activity. DNA fragmentation and cell cycle arrest was observed in KalsomeTM10 treated promastigotes. Apoptotic DNA fragmentation was also observed in KalsomeTM10 treated intracellular amastigotes. KalsomeTM10 induced generation of ROS and nitric oxide leads to the killing of the intracellular parasites. Moreover, endocytosis is indispensable for KalsomeTM10 mediated anti-leishmanial effect in host macrophage.

Conclusions

KalsomeTM10 induces apoptotic-like cell death in L. donovani parasites to exhibit its anti-leishmanial function.

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<![CDATA[In Vitro Antifungal Activity of Sertraline and Synergistic Effects in Combination with Antifungal Drugs against Planktonic Forms and Biofilms of Clinical Trichosporon asahii Isolates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0bab0ee8fa60bca424

Trichosporon asahii (T. asahii) is the major pathogen of invasive trichosporonosis which occurred mostly in immunocompromised patients. The biofilms formation ability of T. asahii may account for resistance to antifungal drugs and results a high mortality rate. Sertraline, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, has been demonstrated to show in vitro and in vivo antifungal activities against many kinds of pathogenic fungi, especially Cryptococcus species. In the present study, the in vitro activities of sertraline alone or combined with fluconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, caspofungin and amphotericin B against planktonic forms and biofilms of 21 clinical T. asahii isolates were evaluated using broth microdilution checkerboard method and XTT reduction assay, respectively. The fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) was used to interpret drug interactions. Sertraline alone exhibited antifungal activities against both T. asahii planktonic cells (MICs, 4–8 μg/ml) and T. asahii biofilms (SMICs, 16–32 μg/ml). Furthermore, SRT exhibited synergistic effects against T. asahii planktonic cells in combination with amphotericin B, caspofungin or fluconazole (FICI≤0.5) and exhibited synergistic effects against T. asahii biofilms in combination with amphotericin B (FICI≤0.5). SRT exhibited mostly indifferent interactions against T. asahii biofilms in combination with three azoles in this study. Sertraline-amphotericin B combination showed the highest percentage of synergistic effects against both T. asahii planktonic cells (90.5%) and T. asahii biofilms (81.0%). No antagonistic interaction was observed. Our study suggests the therapeutic potential of sertraline against invasive T. asahii infection, especially catheter-related T. asahii infection. Further in vivo studies are needed to validate our findings.

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<![CDATA[Potent Inhibition of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the Causative Agent of White-Nose Syndrome in Bats, by Cold-Pressed, Terpeneless, Valencia Orange Oil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad1ab0ee8fa60bb61f3

The causative agent of White-nose Syndrome (WNS), Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has been shown to be fatal to several species of bats in North America. To date, no compounds or chemical control measures have been developed which eliminates the growth of the fungus in the environment or in affected animals. In the current study, we evaluated the activity of cold-pressed, terpeneless orange oil (CPT) against multiple isolates of P. destructans in vitro. For all assays, a modified Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion assay was used. Standardized spore suspensions were prepared, adjusted to a specific optical density, and used to plate fungal lawns. Plates were incubated at either 15°C or 4°C for up to 6 months and checked at regular intervals for growth. Once controls had grown, zones of inhibition were measured (mm) on test plates and compared to those obtained using current antifungal drugs. All P. destructans isolates were completely inhibited by 100% CPT (10 μL) at 1 month of incubation regardless of temperature (4°C and 15°C). Complete inhibition persisted up to 6 months following a single exposure at this concentration. Of the standard antifungals, only amphotericin B demonstrated any activity, resulting in zone diameters ranging from 58 mm to 74 mm. CPT, at the highest concentration tested (100%), had no significant effect against a variety of other environmental organisms including various filamentous fungi, bacteria and aerobic actinomycetes. Given that CPT is relatively non-toxic, the possibility exists that the all-natural, mixture could be used as an environmental pre-treatment to eradicate P. destructans from bat habitats. Additional studies are needed to assess any undesirable effects of CPT on bat behavior and health and overall impacts on other members of the interconnected ecosystem(s).

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<![CDATA[Treatment of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Caused by Leishmania aethiopica: A Systematic Review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da80ab0ee8fa60b9a590

Leishmania aethiopica is the etiological agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Ethiopia and can cause severe and complicated cases such as diffuse CL (DCL), mucocutaneous leishmaniasis or extensive CL, requiring systemic treatment. Despite the substantial burden, evidence-based treatment guidelines are lacking. We conducted a systematic review of clinical studies reporting on treatment outcomes of CL due to L aethiopica in order to help identify potentially efficacious medications on CL that can be taken forward for clinical trials. We identified a total of 24 records reporting on 506 treatment episodes of CL presumably due to L aethiopica. The most commonly used drugs were antimonials (n = 201), pentamidine (n = 150) and cryotherapy (n = 103). There were 20 case reports/series, with an overall poor study quality. We only identified two small and/or poor quality randomized controlled trials conducted a long time ago. There were two prospective non-randomized studies reporting on cryotherapy, antimonials and pentamidine. With cryotherapy, cure rates were 60–80%, and 69–85% with antimonials. Pentamidine appeared effective against complicated CL, also in cases non-responsive to antimonials. However, all studies suffered from methodological limitations. Data on miltefosine, paromomycin and liposomal amphotericin B are extremely scarce. Only a few studies are available on DCL. The only potentially effective treatment options for DCL seem to be antimonials with paromomycin in combination or pentamidine, but none have been properly evaluated. In conclusion, the evidence-base for treatment of complicated CL due to L aethiopica is extremely limited. While antimonials remain the most available CL treatment in Ethiopia, their efficacy and safety in CL should be better defined. Most importantly, alternative first line treatments (such as miltefosine or paromomycin) should be explored. High quality trials on CL due to L aethiopica are urgently needed, exploring group sequential methods to evaluate several options in parallel.

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<![CDATA[Antifungal Activity of Amphotericin B Conjugated to Nanosized Magnetite in the Treatment of Paracoccidioidomycosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da81ab0ee8fa60b9aa2d

This study reports on in vitro and in vivo tests that sought to assess the antifungal activity of a newly developed magnetic carrier system comprising amphotericin B loaded onto the surface of pre-coated (with a double-layer of lauric acid) magnetite nanoparticles. The in vitro tests compared two drugs; i.e., this newly developed form and free amphotericin B. We found that this nanocomplex exhibited antifungal activity without cytotoxicity to human urinary cells and with low cytotoxicity to peritoneal macrophages. We also evaluated the efficacy of the nanocomplex in experimental paracoccidioidomycosis. BALB/c mice were intratracheally infected with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and treated with the compound for 30 or 60 days beginning the day after infection. The newly developed amphotericin B coupled with magnetic nanoparticles was effective against experimental paracoccidioidomycosis, and it did not induce clinical, biochemical or histopathological alterations. The nanocomplex also did not induce genotoxic effects in bone marrow cells. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that amphotericin B coupled to magnetic nanoparticles and stabilized with bilayer lauric acid is a promising nanotool for the treatment of the experimental paracoccidioidomycosis because it exhibited antifungal activity that was similar to that of free amphotericin B, did not induce adverse effects in therapeutic doses and allowed for a reduction in the number of applications.

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<![CDATA[Fusarium: Molecular Diversity and Intrinsic Drug Resistance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2dab0ee8fa60bd1b3f ]]> <![CDATA[Prevalence and Hospital Management of Amphotericin B Deoxycholate-Related Toxicities during Treatment of HIV-Associated Cryptococcal Meningitis in South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db15ab0ee8fa60bcce99

Background

We aimed to establish the prevalence of amphotericin B deoxycholate (AmBd)-related toxicities among South African patients with cryptococcosis and determine adherence to international recommendations to prevent, monitor and manage AmBd-related toxicities.

Methods

Clinical data were collected from cases of laboratory-confirmed cryptococcosis at 25 hospitals, October 2012 –February 2013. Anemia was defined as hemoglobin (Hb) concentration <10 g/dl, hypokalemia as serum potassium (K) <3.4 mEq/L and nephrotoxicity as an increase in serum creatinine (Cr) to >1.1 times the upper limit of normal. To determine adherence to toxicity prevention recommendations, we documented whether baseline Hb, K and Cr tests were performed, whether pre-emptive hydration and IV potassium chloride (KCl) was administered prior to 80% and 60% of AmBd doses and whether daily oral KCl supplementation was given ≥60% of the time. To determine adherence to monitoring recommendations, we ascertained whether a daily fluid chart was completed, Hb was monitored weekly and K or Cr were monitored bi-weekly.

Results

Of 846 patients, clinical data were available for 76% (642/846), 82% (524/642) of whom received AmBd. Sixty-four per cent (n = 333) had documented baseline laboratory tests, 40% (n = 211) were given pre-emptive hydration and 14% (n = 72) and 19% (n = 101) received intravenous and oral KCl. While on AmBd, 88% (n = 452) had fluid monitoring; 27% (n = 142), 45% (n = 235) and 44% (n = 232) had Hb, K and Cr levels monitored. Toxicities developed frequently during treatment: anemia, 16% (86/524); hypokalemia, 43% (226/524) and nephrotoxicity, 32% (169/524).

Conclusion

AmBd-related toxicities occurred frequently but were potentially preventable with adequate monitoring, supplemental fluid and electrolyte therapies.

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<![CDATA[An Amphotericin B Derivative Equally Potent to Amphotericin B and with Increased Safety]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1fab0ee8fa60bcee97

Amphotericin B is the most potent antimycotic known to date. However due to its large collateral toxicity, its use, although long standing, had been limited. Many attempts have been made to produce derivatives with reduced collateral damage. The molecular mechanism of polyene has also been closely studied for this purpose and understanding it would contribute to the development of safe derivatives. Our study examined polyene action, including chemical synthesis, electrophysiology, pharmacology, toxicology and molecular dynamics. The results were used to support a novel Amphotericin B derivative with increased selectivity: L-histidine methyl ester of Amphotericin B. We found that this derivative has the same form of action as Amphotericin B, i.e. pore formation in the cell membrane. Its reduced dimerization in solution, when compared to Amphotericin B, is at least partially responsible for its increased selectivity. Here we also present the results of preclinical tests, which show that the derivative is just as potent as Amphotericin B and has increased safety.

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<![CDATA[Immune Activation and Bacterial Translocation: A Link between Impaired Immune Recovery and Frequent Visceral Leishmaniasis Relapses in HIV-Infected Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa3ab0ee8fa60ba69c5

The maintenance of chronic immune activation due to leishmaniasis or even due to microbial translocation is associated with immunosenescence and may contribute to frequent relapses. Our aim was to investigate whether patients with HIV-associated visceral leishmaniasis (VL/HIV) who experience a single episode of VL have different immunological behaviors in comparison to those who experience frequent relapses. VL/HIV patients were allocated to non-relapsing (NR, n = 6) and relapsing (R, n = 11) groups and were followed from the active phase of VL up to 12 months post-treatment (mpt). The patients were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and secondary prophylaxis after VL therapy. During active VL, the two groups were similar in all immunological parameters, including the parasite load. At 6 and 12 mpt, the NR group showed a significant gain of CD4+ T cells, a reduction of lymphocyte activation, and lower soluble CD14 and anti-Leishmania IgG3 levels compared to the R group. The viral load remained low, without correlation with the activation. The two groups showed elevated but similar percentages of senescent T cells. These findings suggest a decreased ability of the R group to downmodulate immune activation compared to the NR group. Such functional impairment of the effector response may be a useful indicator for predicting clinical prognosis and recommending starting or stopping secondary prophylaxis.

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<![CDATA[To evaluate efficacy and safety of amphotericin B in two different doses in the treatment of post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca03

Background

Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a skin disorder that usually occurs among patients with a past history of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Cases are also reported without a history of VL. There is no satisfactory treatment regimen available at present. We aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of amphotericin B in two different doses (0.5mg/kg vs 1mg/kg) in a prospective randomized trial in 50 PKDL patients.

Methods

In this open label study 50 patients with PKDL, aged between 5–60 years were randomized in two groups. Group A received amphotericin B in the dose of 0.5 mg/kg in 5% dextrose, daily for 20 infusions for 3 courses at an interval of 15 days between each course and Group B received amphotericin B in the dose of 1mg/kg in 5% dextrose on alternate days, 20 infusions for 3 courses an interval of 15 days between each course and followed up for one year.

Results

A total of 50 patients were enrolled, 25 in each of group A and group B. Two patients lost to follow up and three patients withdrew consent due to adverse events. The initial cure rate was 92% in group A and 88% in group B by intention to treat analysis and final cure rate by per protocol analysis was 95.65% and 95.45% in group A and group B respectively. Two patients each from either group relapsed. Nephrotoxicity was the most common adverse event occurring in both the groups.

Conclusion

The lower dose appears to have fewer adverse events however, nephrotoxicity remains a problem in both regimens. The 0.5mg/kg regimen may be considered instead of the higher dosage however safer treatments remain critical for PKDL treatment.

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<![CDATA[Factors associated with early mycological clearance in HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc955

Introduction

The first-line combination therapy for HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis (CM), a condition of high mortality particularly in the first two weeks of treatment, consists of amphotericin B plus flucytosine (5-FC). Given that 5-FC remains unavailable in many countries, the knowledge of factors influencing mycological clearance in patients treated with second-line therapy could contribute to effective management.

Objectives

To determine the factors associated with the clearance of Cryptococcus sp. from the cerebrospinal fluid by the second week of effective antifungal therapy (early mycological clearance) in HIV-associated CM.

Methods

Retrospective cohort study based on secondary data corresponding to HIV-associated CM cases hospitalized at a tertiary health care center in Lima, Peru where 5-FC remains unavailable. Risk factors associated with early mycological clearance were analyzed by generalized linear regression models.

Results

From January 2000 to December 2013, 234 individuals were discharged with a diagnosis of HIV-associated CM; in 215 we retrieved the required data. The inpatient mortality was 20% (43/215), 15 of them in the first two weeks of treatment. In the final model (157 cases), adjusted for age, previous episode of CM, ART use, type of antifungal treatment, raised intracranial pressure, frequency of therapeutic lumbar punctures, baseline fungal burden and treatment period, the factors associated with early mycological clearance were: Amphotericin B deoxycholate plus fluconazole as combination therapy (RR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.14–2.14); severe baseline intracranial pressure (≥35 cm H2O) (RR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.33–0.99); and baseline fungal burden over 4.5 log10 CFU/mL (RR, 0.61 95% CI: 0.39–0.95).

Conclusions

In a setting without access to first-line therapy for CM, the combination therapy with amphotericin B deoxycholate plus fluconazole was positively associated with early mycological clearance, while high fungal burden and severe baseline intracranial pressure were negatively associated, and thus related to failure.

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<![CDATA[Unravelling the rate of action of hits in the Leishmania donovani box using standard drugs amphotericin B and miltefosine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be01d7

In recent years, the neglected diseases drug discovery community has elected phenotypic screening as the key approach for the identification of novel hit compounds. However, when this approach is applied, important questions related to the mode of action for these compounds remain unanswered. One of such questions is related to the rate of action, a useful piece of information when facing the challenge of prioritising the most promising hit compounds. In the present work, compounds of the “Leishmania donovani box” were evaluated using a rate of action assay adapted from a replicative intracellular high content assay recently developed. The potency of each compound was determined every 24 hours up to 96 hours, and standard drugs amphotericin B and miltefosine were used as references to group these compounds according to their rate of action. Independently of this biological assessment, compounds were also clustered according to their minimal chemical scaffold. Comparison of the results showed a complete correlation between the chemical scaffold and the biological group for the vast majority of compounds, demonstrating how the assay was able to bring information on the rate of action for each chemical series, a property directly linked to the mode of action. Overall, the assay here described permitted us to evaluate the rate of action of the “Leishmania donovani box” using two of the currently available drugs as references and, also, to propose a number of fast-acting chemical scaffolds present in the box as starting points for future drug discovery projects to the wider scientific community. The results here presented validate the use of this assay for the determination of the rate of action early in the discovery process, to assist in the prioritisation of hit compounds.

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