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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2012 Mar;39(3):223-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2011.10.014. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Efficacy of intrathecal administration of liposomal amphotericin B combined with voriconazole in a murine model of cryptococcal meningitis.

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Pathologic Anatomy Unit, Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de Salut, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain.


Meningitis is one of the most fatal manifestations of cryptococcosis, even with specific treatment. Combination of a prompt diagnosis and appropriate therapy are critical to reduce the fungal load and the inflammatory response effects of the proliferation of yeast into the central nervous system (CNS). Mice with experimental acute meningitis caused by Cryptococcus neoformans were treated with liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) administered intrathecally (i.t.c.) at 0.006 mg/kg weekly or intravenously (i.v.) at 10 mg/kg daily or with voriconazole (VCZ) administered orally at 30 mg/kg per dose twice daily or with combinations of both drugs, i.e. L-AmB i.t.c.+VCZ or L-AmB i.v.+VCZ at the same doses as used in the monotherapies. All treatments significantly increased the survival of animals in comparison with the control group, with VCZ being less effective in comparison with all other treatments (P ≤ 0.012). All treatments, with the exception of VCZ (P=0.533), reduced fungal burdens in the brain in comparison with controls. The combination of L-AmB i.t.c.+VCZ showed a synergistic effect in the reduction of fungal load that was significantly superior to any tested therapy (P ≤ 0.039). Histologically, untreated animals showed a marked inflammatory response with massive fungal cells in the meninges, whilst treated animals showed a variable number of fungal cells in the CNS, with the exception of animals receiving L-AmB i.t.c.+VCZ in which neither yeasts nor inflammation were observed.

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