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Combination treatment of liposomal amphotericin B and isavuconazole is synergistic in treating experimental mucormycosis.

Abstract

Objectives

Liposomal amphotericin B (L-AMB) and isavuconazonium sulphate are commonly used antifungal drugs to treat mucormycosis. However, the efficacy of combination therapy of L-AMB/isavuconazonium sulphate versus monotherapy is unknown. We used an immunosuppressed mouse model of pulmonary mucormycosis to compare the efficacy of L-AMB/isavuconazonium sulphate versus either drug alone.

Methods

Neutropenic mice were intratracheally infected with either Rhizopus delemar or Mucor circinelloides. Treatment with L-AMB, isavuconazonium sulphate, or a combination of both started 8 h post-infection and continued through to Day +4. Placebo mice received vehicle control. Survival to Day +21 and tissue fungal burden (by conidial equivalent using quantitative PCR) on Day +4, served as primary and secondary endpoints, respectively.

Results

For mice infected with R. delemar, L-AMB and isavuconazonium sulphate equally prolonged median survival time and enhanced survival versus placebo (an overall survival of 50% for either drug alone, versus 5% for placebo). Importantly, combination treatment resulted in an overall survival of 80%. Both antifungal drugs reduced tissue fungal burden of lungs and brain by ∼1.0-2.0 log versus placebo-treated mice. Treatment with combination therapy resulted in 2.0-3.5 log reduction in fungal burden of either organ versus placebo and 1.0 log reduction versus either drug alone. Similar treatment outcomes were obtained using mice infected with M. circinelloides.

Conclusions

The L-AMB/isavuconazonium sulphate combination demonstrated greater activity versus monotherapy in immunosuppressed mice infected with either of the two most common causes of mucormycosis. These studies warrant further investigation of L-AMB/isavuconazonium sulphate combination therapy as an optimal therapy of human mucormycosis.

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