Voriconazole: a highly potent treatment for fungal infections

New study published in the International JOurnal of Antimicrobial Agents

London, UK, 16 December 2008 - The effectiveness of voriconazole in combating fungal infections has been confirmed by a new study to be featured in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, published by Elsevier. Fungal infections can kill people with weakened immune systems, which can be caused by AIDS, cancer treatment or organ replacement, and the research reinforces earlier findings that this drug is a potent treatment for a wide range of these infections.

Voriconazole is an antifungal agent which has been approved for treatment of a broad range of fungal infections, including those caused by Candida species. The authors, from the United Kingdom, the United States of America and New Zealand, analyzed susceptibility data for the yeasts isolated from patients taking part in the voriconazole phase III clinical trials. The aim was to compare the effectiveness of voriconazole with other agents, by studying the yeasts’ response to these antifungal agents in vitro, and also to check for resistance to voriconazole.

The researchers analyzed the effect of itraconazole, fluconazole, amphotericin B and voriconazole versus 1763 yeasts isolated from samples obtained from 472 patients. The yeast cultures obtained were predominantly Candida spp. (97.1%), although there were seven genera and 22 species of yeasts in all. The infections the patients were suffering from arose most commonly from surgery/trauma/burns (37% of patients), haematological malignancy (13%) or bacteria (11%).

The authors conclude that “Voriconazole exhibits high potency in vitro against a wide range of yeast species. It is notably more active than fluconazole in terms of both potency and spectrum, but shows similar activity to itraconazole against most yeasts.” They also note that the activity of the agent in vitro may help predict the response of patients to treatment.

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Notes to Editors:
The full article is: Johnson E, et al. Activity of voriconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole and amphotericin B in vitro against 1763 yeasts from 472 patients in the voriconazole phase III clinical studies, Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents (2008), doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2008.05.023
For a full disclosure of authors’ interests, please see the full text of the article. For full-text copies of the article, please contact the Elsevier press office at newsroom@elsevier.com

About the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
The International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents provides comprehensive and up-to-date peer reviewed reference information on the physical, pharmacological, in vitro and clinical properties of individual antimicrobial agents (antiviral agents, antiparasitic agents, antibacterial agents, antifungal agents, immunotherapeutic agents, etc.). In addition, the journal signals new trends and developments in the field through highly authoritative review articles on antimicrobial agents, immunomodulators and immunotherapy. Special attention is given to articles providing insight into the problems of antimicrobial resistance, local as well as world-wide, both in the hospital and in the community. It is the official journal of the International Society of Chemotherapy.

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