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1.  Interactions of Posaconazole and Flucytosine against Cryptococcus neoformans 
A checkerboard methodology, based on standardized methods proposed by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards for broth microdilution antifungal susceptibility testing, was applied to study the in vitro interactions of flucytosine (FC) and posaconazole (SCH 56592) (FC-SCH) against 15 isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans. Synergy, defined as a fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) index of <0.50, was observed for 33% of the isolates tested. When synergy was not achieved, there was still a decrease in the MIC of one or both drugs when they were used in combination. Antagonism, defined as a FIC of >4.0, was not observed. The in vitro efficacy of combined therapy was confirmed by quantitative determination of the CFU of C. neoformans 486, an isolate against which the FC-SCH association yielded a synergistic interaction. To investigate the potential beneficial effects of this combination therapy in vivo, we established two experimental murine models of cryptococcosis by intracranial or intravenous injection of cells of C. neoformans 486. At 1 day postinfection, the mice were randomized into different treatment groups. One group each received each drug alone, and one group received the drugs in combination. While combination therapy was not found to be significantly more effective than each single drug in terms of survival, tissue burden experiments confirmed the potentiation of antifungal activity with the combination. Our study demonstrates that SCH and FC combined are significantly more active than either drug alone against C. neoformans in vitro as well in vivo. These findings suggest that this therapeutic approach could be useful in the treatment of cryptococcal infections.
doi:10.1128/AAC.45.5.1355-1359.2001
PMCID: PMC90473  PMID: 11302795
2.  Short-Term Exposure to Membrane-Active Antibiotics Inhibits Cryptosporidium parvum Infection in Cell Culture 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2000;44(12):3473-3475.
A cell culture system and double fluorogenic staining were used to study the susceptibility of Cryptosporidium parvum to membrane-active antibiotics. Buforin II and magainin II exerted a cytotoxic effect on sporozoites but did not consistently affect oocyst viability. Lasalocid and nigericin demonstrated less activity against sporozoites but reduced the infectivity of oocysts.
PMCID: PMC90227  PMID: 11083662
3.  Polycationic Peptides as Prophylactic Agents against Methicillin-Susceptible or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis Vascular Graft Infection 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2000;44(12):3306-3309.
Several polycationic peptides isolated from animals, plants, and bacterial species possess a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. A rat model was used to investigate the efficacies of two peptides, ranalexin and buforin II, in the prevention of vascular prosthetic graft infections. The effect of peptide-soaked collagen-sealed Dacron was compared to that of rifampin-soaked collagen-sealed Dacron in the rat model of graft infection caused by methicillin-susceptible rifampin-susceptible Staphylococcus epidermidis and methicillin-resistant rifampin-susceptible S. epidermidis. Graft infections were established in the back subcutaneous tissue of 240 adult male Wistar rats by implantation of 1-cm2 Dacron prostheses, followed by topical inoculation with 2 × 107 CFU of S. epidermidis. The study included a control group (no graft contamination), two contaminated groups that did not receive any antibiotic prophylaxis, two contaminated groups to which perioperative intraperitoneal cefazolin prophylaxis (30 mg/kg of body weight) was administered, six contaminated groups that received a peptide- or rifampin-soaked graft, and six contaminated groups that received a peptide- or rifampin-soaked graft and perioperative intraperitoneal cefazolin prophylaxis (30 mg/kg). The grafts were sterilely removed 7 days after implantation, and the infection was evaluated by using sonication and quantitative agar culture. Overall, the efficacies of the polycationic peptides against the methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant strains were not significantly different from that of rifampin. Nevertheless, the combinations of ranalexin- and buforin II-coated grafts with cefazolin treatment demonstrated efficacies significantly higher than that of the combination of rifampin-coated grafts and cefazolin treatment against the methicillin-resistant strain.
PMCID: PMC90197  PMID: 11083632
4.  Interactions between Triazoles and Amphotericin B against Cryptococcus neoformans 
The interaction of amphotericin B (AmB) and azole antifungal agents in the treatment of fungal infections is still a controversial issue. A checkerboard titration broth microdilution-based method that adhered to the recommendations of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards was applied to study the in vitro interactions of AmB with fluconazole (FLC), itraconazole (ITC), and the new investigational triazole SCH 56592 (SCH) against 15 clinical isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans. Synergy, defined as a fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) index of ≤0.50, was observed for 7% of the isolates in studies of the interactions of both FLC-AmB and ITC-AmB and for 33% of the isolates in studies of the SCH-AmB interactions; additivism (FICs, >0.50 to 1.0) was observed for 67, 73, and 53% of the isolates in studies of the FLC-AmB, ITC-AmB, and SCH-AmB interactions, respectively; indifference (FICs, >1.0 to ≤2.0) was observed for 26, 20, and 14% of the isolates in studies of the FLC-AmB, ITC-AmB, and SCH-AmB interactions, respectively. Antagonism (FIC >2.0) was not observed. When synergy was not achieved, there was still a decrease, although not as dramatic, in the MIC of one or both drugs when they were used in combination. To investigate the effects of FLC-AmB combination therapy in vivo, we established an experimental model of systemic cryptococcosis in BALB/c mice by intravenous injection of cells of C. neoformans 2337, a clinical isolate belonging to serotype D against which the combination of FLC and AmB yielded an additive interaction in vitro. Both survival and tissue burden studies showed that combination therapy was more effective than FLC alone and that combination therapy was at least as effective as AmB given as a single drug. On the other hand, when cells of C. neoformans 2337 were grown in FLC-containing medium, a pronounced increase in resistance to subsequent exposures to AmB was observed. In particular, killing experiments conducted with nonreplicating cells showed that preexposure to FLC abolished the fungicidal activity of the polyene. However, this apparent antagonism was not observed in vivo. Rather, when the two drugs were used sequentially for the treatment of systemic murine cryptococcosis, a reciprocal potentiation was often observed. Our study shows that (i) the combination of triazoles and AmB is significantly more active than either drug alone against C. neoformans in vitro and (ii) the concomitant or sequential use of FLC and AmB for the treatment of systemic murine cryptococcosis results in a positive interaction.
PMCID: PMC90082  PMID: 10952592
5.  Experimental Induction of Fluconazole Resistance in Candida tropicalis ATCC 750 
Candida tropicalis is less commonly isolated from clinical specimens than Candida albicans. Unlike C. albicans, which can be occasionally found as a commensal, C. tropicalis is almost always associated with the development of fungal infections. In addition, C. tropicalis has been reported to be resistant to fluconazole (FLC). To analyze the development of FLC resistance in C. tropicalis, an FLC-susceptible strain (ATCC 750) (MIC = 1.0 μg/ml) was cultured in liquid medium containing increasing FLC concentrations from 8.0 to 128 μg/ml. The strain developed variable degrees of FLC resistance which paralleled the concentrations of FLC used in the medium. The highest MICs of FLC were 16, 256, and 512 μg/ml for strains grown in medium with 8.0, 32, and 128 μg of FLC per ml, respectively. Development of resistance was rapid and could be observed already after a single subculture in azole-containing medium. The resistant strains were cross-resistant to itraconazole (MIC > 1.0 μg/ml) and terbinafine (MIC > 512 μg/ml) but not to amphotericin B. Isolates grown in FLC at concentrations of 8.0 and 32 μg/ml reverted to low MICs (1.0 μg/ml) after 12 and 11 passages in FLC-free medium, respectively. The MIC for one isolate grown in FLC (128 μg/ml) (128 R) reverted to 16 μg/ml but remained stable over 60 passages in FLC-free medium. Azole-resistant isolates revealed upregulation of two different multidrug efflux transporter genes: the major facilitators gene MDR1 and the ATP-binding cassette transporter CDR1. The development of FLC resistance in vitro correlated well with the results obtained in an experimental model of disseminated candidiasis. While FLC given at 10 mg/kg of body weight/day was effective in reducing the fungal burden of mice infected with the parent strain, the same dosing regimen was ineffective in mice infected with strain 128 R. Finally, the acquisition of in vitro FLC resistance in strain 128 R was related to a loss of virulence. The results of our study elucidate important characteristics and potential mechanisms of FLC resistance in C. tropicalis.
PMCID: PMC89916  PMID: 10817712
6.  In Vitro Activities of the New Antifungal Triazole SCH 56592 against Common and Emerging Yeast Pathogens 
A broth microdilution method performed in accordance with the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards guidelines was used to compare the in vitro activity of the new antifungal triazole SCH 56592 (SCH) to that of fluconazole (FLC), itraconazole (ITC), and ketoconazole (KETO) against 257 clinical yeast isolates. They included 220 isolates belonging to 12 different species of Candida, 15 isolates each of Cryptococcus neoformans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and seven isolates of Rhodotorula rubra. The MICs of SCH at which 50% (MIC50) and 90% (MIC90) of the isolates were inhibited were 0.06 and 2.0 μg/ml, respectively. In general, SCH was considerably more active than FLC (MIC50 and MIC90 of 1.0 and 64 μg/ml, respectively) and slightly more active than either ITC (MIC50 and MIC90 of 0.25 and 2.0 μg/ml, respectively) and KETO (MIC50 and MIC90 of 0.125 and 4.0 μg/ml, respectively). Our in vitro data suggest that SCH has significant potential for clinical development.
PMCID: PMC89662  PMID: 10602757
7.  Anidulafungin in Combination with Amphotericin B against Aspergillus fumigatus▿  
We investigated the effects of anidulafungin alone and in combination with amphotericin B against Aspergillus fumigatus. Indifference was the only type of interaction observed in vitro. Anidulafungin at 1 and 5 mg/kg of body weight/day, amphotericin B at 1 mg/kg/day, and combination therapy prolonged the survival of mice with invasive aspergillosis. Anidulafungin at 5 mg/kg/day, alone and in combination with amphotericin B, reduced the kidney fungal burden. Overall, the combination was not superior to the most active single drug.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00659-09
PMCID: PMC2737837  PMID: 19596890
8.  Efficacy of the Combination of Tachyplesin III and Clarithromycin in Rat Models of Escherichia coli Sepsis▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2008;52(12):4351-4355.
We investigated the efficacy of tachyplesin III and clarithromycin in two experimental rat models of severe gram-negative bacterial infections. Adult male Wistar rats were given either (i) an intraperitoneal injection of 1 mg/kg Escherichia coli 0111:B4 lipopolysaccharide or (ii) 2 × 1010 CFU of E. coli ATCC 25922. For each model, the animals received isotonic sodium chloride solution, 1 mg/kg tachyplesin III, 50 mg/kg clarithromycin, or 1 mg/kg tachyplesin III combined with 50 mg/kg clarithromycin intraperitoneally. Lethality, bacterial growth in the blood and peritoneum, and the concentrations of endotoxin and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in plasma were evaluated. All the compounds reduced the lethality of the infections compared to that for the controls. Tachyplesin III exerted a strong antimicrobial activity and achieved a significant reduction of endotoxin and TNF-α concentrations in plasma compared to those of the control and clarithromycin-treated groups. Clarithromycin exhibited no antimicrobial activity but had a good impact on endotoxin and TNF-α plasma concentrations. A combination of tachyplesin III and clarithromycin resulted in significant reductions in bacterial counts and proved to be the most-effective treatment in reducing all variables measured.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00086-08
PMCID: PMC2592857  PMID: 18779356
9.  Posaconazole against Candida glabrata Isolates with Various Susceptibilities to Fluconazole ▿  
We investigated the in vitro activities of posaconazole (POS), fluconazole (FLC), amphotericin B (AMB), and caspofungin (CAS) against four clinical isolates of Candida glabrata with various susceptibilities to FLC (FLC MICs ranging from 1.0 to >64 μg/ml). POS MICs ranged from ≤0.03 to 0.5 μg/ml; AMB MICs ranged from 0.25 to 2.0 μg/ml, while CAS MICs ranged from 0.03 to 0.25 μg/ml. When FLC MICs increased, so did POS MICs, although we did not observe any isolate with a POS MIC greater than 0.5 μg/ml. Time-kill experiments showed that POS, FLC, and CAS were fungistatic against all isolates, while AMB at eight times the MIC was fungicidal against three out of four isolates of C. glabrata tested. Then, we investigated the activity of POS in an experimental model of disseminated candidiasis using three different isolates of C. glabrata: one susceptible to FLC (S; FLC MICs ranging from 1.0 to 4.0 μg/ml; POS MIC of ≤0.03 μg/ml), one susceptible in a dose-dependent manner (SDD; FLC MICs ranging from 32 to 64 μg/ml; POS MICs ranging from 0.125 to 0.25 μg/ml), and another one resistant to FLC (R; FLC MIC of >64 μg/ml; POS MIC of 0.5 μg/ml). FLC significantly reduced the kidney burden of mice infected with the S strain (P = 0.0070) but not of those infected with the S-DD and R strains. POS was significantly effective against all three isolates at reducing the kidney fungal burden with respect to the controls (P ranging from 0.0003 to 0.029). In conclusion, our data suggest that POS may be a useful option in the management of systemic infections caused by C. glabrata. Additionally, the new triazole may be a therapeutic option in those cases where an FLC-resistant isolate is found to retain a relatively low POS MIC.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00130-08
PMCID: PMC2415808  PMID: 18391037
10.  RNAIII-Inhibiting Peptide Enhances Healing of Wounds Infected with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus▿  
Quorum sensing is a mechanism through which a bacterial population receives input from neighboring cells and elicits an appropriate response to enable survival within the host. Inhibiting quorum sensing by RNAIII-inhibiting peptide (RIP) has been demonstrated as a very effective mode of prevention and therapy for device-associated staphylococcal infections and was tested here for healing of wounds that are otherwise resistant to conventional antibiotics. Wounds, established through the panniculus carnosus of BALB/c mice, were inoculated with 5 × 107 CFU of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Mice were treated with Allevyn, RIP-soaked Allevyn (containing 20 μg RIP), daily intraperitoneal teicoplanin (7 mg/kg of body weight), Allevyn and teicoplanin, and RIP-soaked Allevyn and daily intraperitoneal teicoplanin. The main outcome measures were quantitative bacterial culture and histological examination with assessment of microvessel density and of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in tissue sections. Treatment with RIP-soaked Allevyn together with teicoplanin injection greatly reduced the bacterial load to 13 CFU/g (control untreated animals had 108 CFU/g bacteria). All other treatments were also significantly effective but only reduced the bacterial load to about 103 CFU/ml. Histological examination indicated that only treatment with RIP-soaked Allevyn with teicoplanin injection restored epithelial, granulation, and collagen scores, as well as microvessel density and VEGF expression, to the levels found with uninfected mice. In conclusion, we observed that RIP may be useful for the management of infected wounds and that it could represent an exciting and future alternative to the conventional antibiotics, at present considered the gold-standard treatments for methicillin-resistant S. aureus infections.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01340-07
PMCID: PMC2415788  PMID: 18391046
11.  Posaconazole Activity against Candida glabrata after Exposure to Caspofungin or Amphotericin B▿  
We evaluated the effects of sequential therapy with caspofungin (CAS) or amphotericin B (AMB) followed by posaconazole (POS) against Candida glabrata. The susceptibilities to POS of yeast cells pre-exposed to CAS or AMB were identical to those of untreated cells as shown by standard Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute broth dilution, cell viability, and disk diffusion methods. We then investigated the activity of sequential regimens in an experimental model of disseminated candidiasis. CAS given at 1 mg/kg/day for 2 days followed by POS at either 15 or 30 mg/kg/day significantly reduced the counts compared to the controls, but this treatment was not superior to the use of CAS alone. Also, sequential regimens with AMB given at 1 mg/kg/day for 2 days followed by POS (AMB/POS) were effective at reducing the fungal burden against the controls. In addition, AMB/POS with both doses of the triazole were significantly more effective than AMB alone. Overall, our data showed that there is no therapeutic advantage in using CAS followed by POS, whereas an induction therapy with AMB followed by a maintenance regimen with POS might be a suitable strategy in managing C. glabrata infections.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01447-07
PMCID: PMC2224729  PMID: 18056279
12.  RNAIII-Inhibiting Peptide Affects Biofilm Formation in a Rat Model of Staphylococcal Ureteral Stent Infection▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2007;51(12):4518-4520.
Ureteral stents coated with the quorum-sensing inhibitor RNAIII-inhibiting peptide (RIP) were implanted in rat bladders and shown to suppress Staphylococcus aureus formation on the stent and in urine and was especially effective when combined with teicoplanin. Coating ureteral stents with RIP thus increases the efficacy of teicoplanin in preventing ureteral stent-associated staphylococcal infections.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00808-07
PMCID: PMC2167994  PMID: 17875996
13.  RNAIII-Inhibiting-Peptide-Loaded Polymethylmethacrylate Prevents In Vivo Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Formation▿  
Staphylococci, common orthopedic pathogens, form antibiotic-resistant biofilms. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) beads loaded with the quorum-sensing inhibitor RNAIII-inhibiting peptide (RIP) were implanted in rats and shown to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection. RIP release was bimodal, typical of previously-tested antibiotics. These results suggest that RIP-PMMA warrants further evaluation for management of orthopedic infections caused by staphylococci.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00580-06
PMCID: PMC1913233  PMID: 17116671
14.  Efficacy of Tachyplesin III, Colistin, and Imipenem against a Multiresistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strain▿  
An experimental study has been performed to compare the in vitro activity and the in vivo efficacy of tachyplesin III, colistin, and imipenem against a multiresistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain. In vitro experiments included MIC determination, time-kill, and synergy studies. For in vivo studies, a mouse model of sepsis has been used. The main outcome measures were bacterial lethality, quantitative blood cultures, and plasma levels of lipopolysaccharide, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-6. The combination of tachyplesin III or colistin with imipenem showed in vitro synergistic interaction. A significant increase in efficacy was also observed in vivo: combination-treated groups had significantly lower levels of bacteremia than did groups treated with a single agent. Tachyplesin III combined with imipenem exhibited the highest efficacy on all main outcome measurements. These results highlight the potential usefulness of these combinations and provide therapeutic alternatives for serious infections caused by gram-negative bacteria in the coming years.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01576-06
PMCID: PMC1891418  PMID: 17403995
15.  Treatment of Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Infection by the Quorum-Sensing Inhibitor RIP▿  
The quorum-sensing inhibitor RIP inhibits staphylococcal TRAP/agr systems and both TRAP- and agr-negative strains are deficient in biofilm formation in vivo, indicating the importance of quorum sensing to biofilms in the host. RIP injected systemically into rats has been found to have strong activity in preventing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus graft infections, suggesting that RIP can be used as a therapeutic agent.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01097-06
PMCID: PMC1891383  PMID: 17371825
16.  In Vitro Activity of Aurein 1.2 Alone and in Combination with Antibiotics against Gram-Positive Nosocomial Cocci▿  
This study was performed to evaluate the in vitro activity of the amphibian peptide aurein 1.2 and to investigate its interaction with six antibiotics against nosocomial gram-positive cocci. All isolates were inhibited at concentrations of 1 to 16 mg/liter. Synergy was demonstrated when aurein 1.2 was combined with clarithromycin and minocycline.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00666-06
PMCID: PMC1855459  PMID: 17220421
17.  Caspofungin in Combination with Amphotericin B against Candida parapsilosis▿  
Candida parapsilosis has emerged as an important nosocomial pathogen. In the present study, a checkerboard broth microdilution method was performed to investigate the in vitro activities of caspofungin (CAS) in combination with amphotericin B (AMB) against three clinical isolates of C. parapsilosis. Although there was a significant reduction of the MIC of one or both drugs used in combination, an indifferent interaction (fractional inhibitory concentration index greater than 0.50 and less than or equal to 4.0) was observed in 100% of cases. This finding was confirmed by killing curve studies. By a disk diffusion assay, the halo diameters produced by antifungal agents in combination were often significantly greater than those produced by each drug alone. Antagonism was never observed. In a murine model of systemic candidiasis, CAS at either 0.25 or 1 mg/kg/day combined with AMB at 1 mg/kg/day was significantly more effective than each single drug at reducing the colony counts in kidneys. Higher doses of the echinocandin (i.e., 5 and 10 mg/kg/day) combined with the polyene did not show any advantage over CAS alone. Overall, our study showed a positive interaction of CAS and AMB against C. parapsilosis.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00880-06
PMCID: PMC1803114  PMID: 17158939
18.  Posaconazole Prophylaxis in Experimental Systemic Zygomycosis▿  
Three isolates of zygomycetes belonging to two different genera (Rhizopus oryzae and Absidia corymbifera) were used to produce a systemic infection in neutropenic mice. On days −2 and −1 and at 2 h prior to infection, the mice received either posaconazole (POS) at doses ranging from 20 to 80 mg/kg of body weight/day or amphotericin B (AMB) at 1 mg/kg/day. Antifungal drug efficacy was assessed by determination of the prolongation of survival, determination of the percentage of infected organs (brain, lung, spleen, and kidney), and histological examination for the number of infection foci and their sizes in brain and kidney tissues. AMB significantly prolonged the survival of mice infected with all isolates. POS significantly prolonged the survival of mice infected with zygomycetes. Cultured organs from mice infected with R. oryzae were all positive, while treated mice challenged with A. corymbifera generally showed lower percentages of infected organs compared with the percentages for the controls. Zygomycete isolates established an active infection (the presence of hyphae) in the brains and the kidneys of all controls. In mice challenged with R. oryzae, both antifungal drugs were effective at reducing the number and the size of infection foci in the kidneys. Only AMB reduced the numbers, but not the sizes, of infection foci in the brain. Finally, both drugs significantly reduced the numbers and the sizes of infection foci in both tissues of mice infected with A. corymbifera. Our data suggest that prophylaxis with POS has some potential to prevent zygomycosis.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00969-06
PMCID: PMC1797686  PMID: 17060525
19.  In Vitro Activities of the Lipopeptides Palmitoyl (Pal)-Lys-Lys-NH2 and Pal-Lys-Lys Alone and in Combination with Antimicrobial Agents against Multiresistant Gram-Positive Cocci▿  
The in vitro activities of the lipopeptides palmitoyl (Pal)-Lys-Lys-NH2 and Pal-Lys-Lys against gram-positive cocci were investigated. Enterococci and streptococci demonstrated higher susceptibilities than staphylococci and Rhodococcus equi. A positive interaction was shown when the lipopeptides were combined with beta-lactams and vancomycin. These results suggest that lipopeptides are promising candidates for antimicrobial therapy for infections caused by gram-positive organisms.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00344-06
PMCID: PMC1797683  PMID: 17060532
20.  In Vitro Activities of Tritrpticin Alone and in Combination with Other Antimicrobial Agents against Pseudomonas aeruginosa▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2006;50(11):3923-3925.
The in vitro activity of the cathelicidin tritrpticin was investigated against multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The isolates were susceptible to the peptide at concentrations of 0.50 to 8 mg/liter. Tritrpticin completely inhibits lipopolysaccharide procoagulant activity at a 10 μM concentration. Fractionary inhibitory concentration indexes (0.385, 0.312, and 0.458) demonstrated synergy between the peptide and β-lactams.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00652-06
PMCID: PMC1635209  PMID: 16940073
21.  Effects of Caspofungin against Candida guilliermondii and Candida parapsilosis 
The in vitro activity of caspofungin (CAS) was investigated against 28 yeast isolates belonging to Candida albicans (n = 5), Candida guilliermondii (n = 10), and Candida parapsilosis (n = 13). CAS MICs obtained by broth dilution and Etest methods clearly showed a rank order of susceptibility to the echinocandin compound with C. albicans > C. parapsilosis > C. guilliermondii. Similarly, time-kill assays performed on selected isolates showed that CAS was fungistatic against C. albicans and C. parapsilosis, while it did not exert any activity against C. guilliermondii. In a murine model of systemic candidiasis, CAS given at doses as low as 1 mg/kg of body weight/day was effective at reducing the kidney burden of mice infected with either C. albicans or C. guilliermondii isolates. Depending on the isolate tested, mice infected with C. parapsilosis responded to CAS given at 1 and/or 5 mg/kg/day. However, the overall CFU reduction for C. guilliermondii and C. parapsilosis was approximately 100-fold less than that for C. albicans. Our study shows that CAS was active in experimental systemic candidiasis due to C. guilliermondii and C. parapsilosis, but this activity required relatively high drug dosages.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00111-06
PMCID: PMC1538640  PMID: 16870764
22.  Interaction of Antimicrobial Peptide Temporin L with Lipopolysaccharide In Vitro and in Experimental Rat Models of Septic Shock Caused by Gram-Negative Bacteria† 
Sepsis remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients, despite intense efforts to improve survival. The primary lead for septic shock results from activation of host effector cells by endotoxin, the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) associated with cell membranes of gram-negative bacteria. For these reasons, the quest for compounds with antiendotoxin properties is actively pursued. We investigated the efficacy of the amphibian skin antimicrobial peptide temporin L in binding Escherichia coli LPS in vitro and counteracting its effects in vivo. Temporin L strongly bound to purified E. coli LPS and lipid A in vitro, as proven by fluorescent displacement assay, and readily penetrated into E. coli LPS monolayers. Furthermore, the killing activity of temporin L against E. coli was progressively inhibited by increasing concentrations of LPS added to the medium, further confirming the peptide's affinity for endotoxin. Antimicrobial assays showed that temporin L interacted synergistically with the clinically used β-lactam antibiotics piperacillin and imipenem. Therefore, we characterized the activity of temporin L when combined with imipenem and piperacillin in the prevention of lethality in two rat models of septic shock, measuring bacterial growth in blood and intra-abdominal fluid, endotoxin and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) concentrations in plasma, and lethality. With respect to controls and single-drug treatments, the simultaneous administration of temporin L and β-lactams produced the highest antimicrobial activities and the strongest reduction in plasma endotoxin and TNF-α levels, resulting in the highest survival rates.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01553-05
PMCID: PMC1489763  PMID: 16801429
23.  LL-37 Protects Rats against Lethal Sepsis Caused by Gram-Negative Bacteria 
We investigated the efficacy of LL-37, the C-terminal part of the only cathelicidin in humans identified to date (termed human cationic antimicrobial protein), in three experimental rat models of gram-negative sepsis. Adult male Wistar rats (i) were given an intraperitoneal injection of 1 mg Escherichia coli 0111:B4 LPS, (ii) were given 2 × 1010 CFU of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, or (iii) had intra-abdominal sepsis induced via cecal ligation and puncture. For each model, all animals were randomized to receive intravenously isotonic sodium chloride solution, 1-mg/kg LL-37, 1-mg/kg polymyxin B, 20-mg/kg imipenem, or 60-mg/kg piperacillin. Lethality; growth of bacteria in blood, peritoneum, spleen, liver, and mesenteric lymph nodes; and endotoxin and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) concentrations in plasma were evaluated. All compounds reduced lethality compared to levels in controls. Endotoxin and TNF-α plasma levels were significantly higher in conventional antibiotic-treated rats than in LL-37- and polymyxin B-treated animals. All drugs tested significantly reduced bacterial growth compared to saline treatment. No statistically significant differences between LL-37 and polymyxin B were noted for antimicrobial and antiendotoxin activities. LL-37 and imipenem proved to be the most effective treatments in reducing all variables measured. Due to its multifunctional properties, LL-37 may become an important future consideration for the treatment of sepsis.
doi:10.1128/AAC.50.5.1672-1679.2006
PMCID: PMC1472226  PMID: 16641434
24.  Comparison of the Fungicidal Activities of Caspofungin and Amphotericin B against Candida glabrata 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2005;49(12):4989-4992.
We investigated the fungicidal activity of caspofungin (CAS) and amphotericin B (AMB) against 16 clinical isolates of Candida glabrata. The minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) of CAS were similar to those of AMB, ranging from 2.0 to >8.0 μg/ml. Time-kill assays performed on selected isolates showed that AMB was fungicidal at concentrations four times the MIC while CAS was not. A neutropenic-mouse model of disseminated infection was utilized to determine the residual fungal kidney burden. While doses as low as 0.3 and 1 mg/kg of body weight/day of CAS and AMB, respectively, were effective at reducing the counts with respect to controls, organ sterilization was reached when both drugs were administered at 5 mg/kg/day. Our study reveals that, similar to AMB, CAS has the potential for a fungicidal effect in vivo against this difficult-to-treat fungal pathogen.
doi:10.1128/AAC.49.12.4989-4992.2005
PMCID: PMC1315975  PMID: 16304162
25.  Efficacy of Caspofungin against Aspergillus terreus 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2005;49(12):5133-5135.
We investigated the in vitro and in vivo activities of caspofungin against Aspergillus terreus. The drug increased survival and reduced tissue fungal burden in neutropenic mice. Therefore, our data support the role of caspofungin in treating systemic infections due to this emerging pathogen.
doi:10.1128/AAC.49.12.5133-5135.2005
PMCID: PMC1315968  PMID: 16304185

Results 1-25 (39)