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In vitro effect of antifungal drugs on pathogenic Naegleria spp.

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1
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand.

Abstract

An ameba of the genus Naegleria causing fatal meningoencephalitis in human subjects was investigated for its sensitivity to antifungal drugs: amphotericin B, ketoconazole, fluconazole and itraconazole. The efficacy of these antifungal drugs for pathogenic Naegleria spp was investigated in three strains isolated from patients who had died of primary amebic meningoencephalitis infection at Siriraj Hospital (1986), Ramathibodi Hospital (1987) and Chachoengsao Hospital (1987). All of the isolates were maintained in axenic culture in the Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand. The sensitivities of the antifungal drugs (MIC50) were: amphotericin B (0.05-0.5 microg/ml), ketoconazole (0.125 microg/ml), fluconazole (0.5-2.0 mg/ml), and itraconazole (10 mg/ml) (p < 0.05). It is important to explain that ketoconazole is slightly more effective than amphotericin B because its action is directed of the permeability of the amebic membrane. The amebae were more resistant ot fluconazole and itraconazole due to the action of the cytochrome P450 multienzyme (in the case of fluconazole) and the direct effect on heme-iron, blocking cytochrome P450-dependent chitin synthesis (in the case of itraconzole). We conclude that amphotericin B and ketoconazole remain the main drugs with proven activity against pathogenic Naegleria spp.

PMID:
12118457
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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