Murine Contact Sensitivity is Enhanced by Fluconazole

Cathy Lee, Beth Riling, Ryan LeTourneau, Dennis Kitz


A number of investigators have found that antimicrobial agents can have profound effects on the host including effects on immune response. Many antimicrobial agents from amphotericin B to ARA-A to clindamycin have been shown to enhance murine contact sensitivity. We have examined the ability of the antifungal triazole fluconazole Pfizer to enhance murine contact sensitivity to dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) Sigma. Varying dosages of fluconazole were administered intraperitoneally to mice simultaneously with sensitization to DNFB on their shaved abdomens on day 0 and day 1 of the assay, followed by measurement of ear-thickness on day 13, ear painting with DNFB, and then subsequent ear-thickness measurements at 24h intervals up to 96h. Fluconazole was found to boost contact sensitivity to DNFB especially at the 72h and 96h time points. Mice receiving fluconazole but no abdominal DNFB exposure showed no contact sensitivity response. Optimal fluconazole dosage and time frame for drug administration relative to abdominal DNFB sensitization and contact sensitivity response were determined. The mechanism for enhancement of contact sensitivity by fluconazole is not known, but may involve changes in antigen processing and presentation by macrophages or effects on T cell populations. Whatever the mechanisms responsible, the enhanced contact sensitivity response may benefit the host receiving fluconazole therapy for fungal infection through enhancing their immune response.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

American Society for Microbiology General Meeting
    • ASM 102nd (2002)