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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2008 May;27(5):327-34. doi: 10.1007/s10096-007-0451-9. Epub 2008 Jan 19.

Will resistance in fungi emerge on a scale similar to that seen in bacteria?

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Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Clinic Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.


Growing numbers of patients receive azoles as prophylaxis or treatment for invasive fungal infections, begging the question of whether emergence of resistance will occur, as has been seen with bacteria. This review examines resistance pathways shared by bacteria and fungi, including alteration and overproduction of drug targets, changes in biosynthetic pathways, and enhanced drug efflux, and assesses whether such commonalities predict increased resistance to azoles. Important differences exist between the two kingdoms, including little, if any, horizontal transfer of extrachromosomal material across fungal species and a longer fungal generation time, thereby slowing vertical transfer of mutant traits. Further, no enzymatic modulation or inactivation of azoles has been reported in fungi. The newer broad-spectrum azoles posaconazole and voriconazole are active against the vast majority of yeasts and moulds and are likely to prevent the emergence of inherently resistant strains. Therefore, the likelihood for an explosion of fungal resistance is relatively low.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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