Showing posts with label antifungal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label antifungal. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nearly five million asthmatics worldwide could benefit from antifungal therapy

Clinical studies have shown that oral antifungal drugs significantly improve symptoms and asthma control in asthmatics with ABPA, treatment endorsed by the Cochrane Collaboration. This is the first time that a global estimate of ABPA numbers has been made.
In national league tables of asthma rates in adults, only Australia and Sweden have a higher prevalence than the UK. In global league tables of ABPA occurrence, New Zealand tops the list with a 3.5% rate in new patients attending chest clinics at hospitals. The rates were 2.6% in Cape Town, 2.3% in Saudi Arabia, 2.5% in China and 0.7% in an older study from Ireland. No population-based studies have been done.



In addition to standard asthma therapy, the antifungal therapy used is itraconazole  now a generic, inexpensive antifungal  with a response rate of 60%. The researchers also found that antifungal therapy also benefits patients with severe asthma sensitized to fungi, called SAFS.
Alternatives include voriconazole and posaconazole, which have 75-80% response rates. In a recent assessment of voriconazole and posaconazole for both ABPA and SAFS, 75% of patients were able to stop taking oral corticosteroids, a major benefit, and 38% of patients had their asthma severity downgraded on antifungal therapy.
Professor David Denning, professor of medicine and medical mycology at the University of Manchester and Director of the University Hospital of South Manchester's National Aspergillosis Centre, led the study into the total number of asthmatics worldwide. He said the study results implied that asthma admissions and deaths could be avoided with more extensive use of antifungal therapy.
"We were surprised by the number of patients with ABPA, and by the lack of community based studies done," he said. "Our National Aspergillosis Centre treats hundreds of these patients each year, generally with major improvement, and so a conscious program to seek out ABPA from all asthmatics is required."
Professor Donald Cole of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto was the senior author of the study and contributed his expert epidemiological knowledge to the development of the model and provided a 'reality' check of the model's estimates.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Antidepressant Sertraline Provides a Promising Therapeutic Option for Neurotropic Cryptococcal Infections

New research conducted by biologists at Texas A&M University suggests that sertraline (see structure below, ZOLOFT®), one of the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the world, also packs a potential preventative bonus  potent mechanisms capable of inhibiting deadly fungal infections. 

C. neoformans is a potentially dangerous fungal pathogen found in many soils throughout the world that may cause systemic infections, particularly involving the central nervous system. In most cases, the microscopic, airborne fungal cells of C. neoformans cause asymptomatic colonization in the lungs. However, Lin says the fungus is particularly aggressive in people with weakened immune systems and can spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain and spinal cord, resulting in cryptococcal meningitis  a condition that, in absence of treatment, is fatal. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bromo furanones a new class of antimicrobials.....

We know that Candida albicans is the most virulent  Candida species of medical importance, which presents a great threat to immunocompromised individuals such as HIV patients. Candida albicans is carried by about 75 percent of the public. Typically the fungus is harmless but, in individuals with HIV or otherwise compromised immune systems, it can cause candidiasis, which has a high mortality rate. The fungi can also form biofilms that attach to surfaces and are up to 1,000 times more resistant to anti-fungals.

Currently, there are only four classes of antifungal agents available for treating fungal infections: azoles (Diflucan, flucanazole), polyenes, pyrimidines, and echinocandins. The fast spread of multidrug resistant C. albicans strains has increased the demand for new antifungal drugs.

Now two Syracuse University scientists have developed new brominated furanones (see structure) that exhibit powerful anti-fungal properties.

As per the claim by the researchers, the compound exhibited more than 80 percent. Structure and activity of this class of furanones reveals that the exocyclic vinyl bromide conjugated with the carbonyl group is the most important structural element for fungal inhibition. Furthermore, gene expression analysis using DNA microarrays showed that 3 μg/mL of 4-bromo-5Z-(bromomethylene)-3-butylfuran-2-one (BF1) upregulated 32 C. albicans genes with functions of stress response, NADPH dehydrogenation, and small-molecule transport, and repressed 21 genes involved mainly in cell-wall maintenance.

Interestingly, only a small overlap is observed between the gene expression changes caused by the representative brominated furanone in this study and other antifungal drugs reported in literature. This result suggests that brominated furanones and other antifungal drugs may target different fungal proteins or genes.

The existence of such new targets provides an opportunity for developing new agents to control fungal pathogens which are resistant to currently available drugs.

The research team has also shown previously that these furanones inhibit bacterial biofilm formation; thus they may help control chronic infections where biofilms often appear, on surgical, dental and other implants. Hope broad spectrum of other potential capabilities make this class of compounds a new way to combat the microbes in the days to come...

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