Antifungal treatment for pulmonary aspergillosis is more difficult if the fungal strain causing the infection is azole resistant. To investigate this problem, we used a murine model of pulmonary aspergillosis caused by azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus strains V29 and V45, and compared treatment with voriconazole (Vr, oral 40 mg/kg, bid) or liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB, 5 mg/kg, IV) used alone or in combination.
Mice (n = 14/gp) were immunosuppressed with 24 mg/kg triamcinolone acetonide, IP, d-3, d-1, and d+1 relative to fungal challenge (d0). For 2 groups, Vr was given prophylactically (proph) d-3, d-2, d-1 followed by L-AmB or buffer, d+1, d+2, and d+3. The other groups were given Vr, L-AmB, Vr+L-AmB, or buffer d+1, d+2, and d+3. On d0, mice were given 1.3 to 1.6 × 107A. fumigatus spores intranasally (Vr MIC = 64 μg/mL, V29; Vr MIC = 8 μg/mL, V45). On d+3, lungs were collected from 7 mice/gp and fungal burden determined by plating for colony forming units; 7 mice/gp were then monitored for morbidity to d+21.
Optimum treatment was observed when Vr was given proph, followed by L-AmB post-challenge (Vr/L-AmB), with better survival (100%) for both fungal strains vs. buffer or Vr post-challenge (P ≤ 0.04); for V29, significantly better survival was also seen with Vr/L-AmB vs. L-AmB or Vr+L-AmB post-challenge (P ≤ 0.01). For strain V45, lung fungal burden was significantly lower for Vr/L-AmB versus all other treatments (P ≤ 0.04), while for strain V29, fungal burden was lower for the Vf/L-AmB and L-AmB post-challenge groups versus the other groups, but the differences were not significant. Notably, although the lung fungal burden with Vr proph and Vr postchallenge were both similar to the buffer control, Vr proph yielded significantly better survival than Vr post-challenge (P ≤ 0.001).
These preclinical observations demonstrate that combining L-AmB with Vr for the postchallenge treatment of pulmonary aspergillosis caused by azole-resistant strains is not an effective therapeutic option. However, the results do show that Vr proph, but not Vr postchallenge, can have some limited antifungal activity, and can significantly enhance the antifungal effects of post-challenge L-AmB. This regimen could be considered in areas where there is a high incidence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus.
All authors: No reported disclosures.
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- ID Week 2018