A model for treating avian aspergillosis: serum and lung tissue kinetics for Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) following single and multiple aerosol exposures of a nanoparticulate itraconazole suspension


Rundfeldt C, Wyska E, Steckel H, Witkowski A, Jeżewska-Witkowska G, Wlaź P
Not Known


Aspergillosis is frequently reported in parrots, falcons and other birds held in captivity. Inhalation is the main route of infection for Aspergillus fumigatus, resulting in both acute and chronic disease conditions. Itraconazole (ITRA) is an antifungal commonly used in birds, but administration requires repeated oral dosing and the safety margin is narrow. We describe lung tissue and serum pharmacokinetics of a nanoparticulate ITRA suspension administered to Japanese quail by aerosol exposure. Aerosolized ITRA (1 and 10% suspension) administered over 30 min did not induce adverse clinical reactions in quail upon single or 5-day repeated doses. High lung concentrations, well above the inhibitory levels for A. fumigatus, of 4.14 ± 0.19 μg/g and 27.5 ± 4.58 μg/g (mean ± SEM, n = 3), were achieved following single-dose inhalation of 1% and 10% suspension, respectively. Upon multiple dose administration of 10% suspension, mean lung concentrations reached 104.9 ± 10.1 μg/g. Drug clearance from the lungs was slow with terminal half-lives of 19.7 h and 35.8 h following inhalation of 1% and 10% suspension, respectively. Data suggest that lung clearance is solubility driven. Lung concentrations of hydroxy-itraconazole reached 1-2% of the ITRA lung tissue concentration indicating metabolism in lung tissue. Steady, but low, serum concentrations of ITRA could be measured after multiple dose administration, reaching less than 0.1% of the lung tissue concentration. This formulation may represent a novel, easy to administer treatment modality for fungal lung infection, preventing high systemic exposure. It may also be useful as metaphylaxis to prevent the outbreak of aspergillosis in colonized animals.