Journal Article

Treatment failure in invasive aspergillosis: susceptibility of deep tissue isolates following treatment with amphotericin B

P. J. Paterson, S. Seaton, H. G. Prentice and C. C. Kibbler

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 52, issue 5, pages 873-876
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkg434
Treatment failure in invasive aspergillosis: susceptibility of deep tissue isolates following treatment with amphotericin B

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Objectives: To determine whether treatment failure in invasive aspergillosis (IA) is the result of resistance of Aspergillus spp. isolates to amphotericin B.

Methods: Six Aspergillus fumigatus and six Aspergillus flavus isolates cultured from deep tissue biopsies in 11 patients with haematological malignancies during 1991–1998 were tested. A method based on the NCCLS M38-A broth microdilution method, with colorimetric determination of MICs, was used to determine the MICs of amphotericin B and itraconazole.

Results: All A. fumigatus isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B (MIC 0.25–0.5 mg/L), as were three A. flavus isolates (MIC 1 mg/L), but three were less susceptible (MIC 2 mg/L). All isolates were susceptible to itraconazole (MIC 0.125–0.25 mg/L). All patients had been treated with amphotericin B, having received a median of 12 days of treatment when the tissue was obtained.

Conclusion: The difficulty in treating IA may not be because of the susceptibility of the isolates, but because of poor penetration of antifungal agents into infected tissue. Aspergillus spp. invade blood vessels causing thrombosis and tissue infarction, and therefore it may be difficult for antifungal drugs to exceed MICs in infected tissues. This highlights the need for different treatment strategies, such as surgery and the administration of cytokines.

Keywords: Keywords: NCCLS, antifungals, MICs, Aspergillus

Journal Article.  2226 words. 

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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