Cryptococcosis is a neglected mycosis that causes nearly 600,000 deaths annually worldwide. Many factors impair its treatment, e.g. antifungal resistance and drug toxicity. Curcumin, a polyphenol, is a natural compound with pronounced antifungal activity. In this study, we investigated the in vitro and in vivo activities of curcumin alone and in combination with fluconazole against the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of curcumin and the interaction with fluconazole against C. gattii were assessed in vitro by the preconized CLSI method. Indeed, curcumin and fluconazole were combined to treat a murine cryptococcosis caused by C. gattii. The average MIC for curcumin was 19.8 mg/L. Its combination with fluconazole resulted in FICI (fractional inhibitory concentration index) values between 0.79 and 2.23. Curcumin (alone or combined with fluconazole) significantly reduced pulmonary damage and fungal burden in the brain. The most intriguing result was that the combination provided no colony recovering in the brain. Combination therapy with curcumin and fluconazole seems to be effective in eliminating C. gattii in the brain of animals. Further studies are necessary to verify the possibility of use of this combination therapy.
Full conference title:
- ISHAM 19th (2015)