Potent synergism of the combination of fluconazole and cyclosporine in Candida albicans

  • Marchetti O
  • Moreillon P
  • Glauser M
 et al. 
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Several types of drugs currently used in clinical practice were screened in vitro for their potentiation of the antifungal effect of the fungistatic agent fluconazole (FLC) on Candida albicans. These drugs included inhibitors of multidrug efflux transporters, antimicrobial agents, antifungal agents, and membrane-active compounds with no antimicrobial activity, such as antiarrhythmic agents, proton pump inhibitors, and platelet aggregation inhibitors. Among the drugs tested in an agar disk diffusion assay, cyclosporine (Cy), which had no intrinsic antifungal activity, showed a potent antifungal effect in combination with FLC. In a checkerboard microtiter plate format, however, it was observed that the MIC of FLC, as classically defined by the NCCLS recommendations, was unchanged when FLC and Cy were combined. Nevertheless, if a different reading endpoint corresponding to the minimal fungicidal concentration needed to decrease viable counts by at least 3 logs in comparison to the growth control was chosen, the combination was synergistic (fractional inhibitory concentration index of 32 and >10 microg/ml, respectively, and decreased to 0.5 and 0.625 microg/ml when the two drugs were combined. The combination of 0.625 microg of Cy per ml with supra-MICs of FLC resulted in a potent antifungal effect in time-kill curve experiments. This effect was fungicidal or fungistatic, depending on the C. albicans strain used. Since the Cy concentration effective in vitro is achievable in vivo, the combination of this agent with FLC represents an attractive perspective for the development of new management strategies for candidiasis.

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  • O. Marchetti

  • P. Moreillon

  • M. P. Glauser

  • J. Bille

  • D. Sanglard

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