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Found: strong drug to treat fungal infections

21 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Researchers have found that the drug Voriconazole to be highly effective against fungal infections caused by AIDS, cancer treatment or organ replacement, according to a new study.

Voriconazole is an antifungal agent approved for treatment of a broad range of fungal infections, including those caused by Candida species.

Fungal infections can kill people with weakened immune systems, which can be caused by AIDS, cancer treatment or organ replacement.

The research reinforces earlier findings that this drug is a potent treatment for a wide range of these infections.

The study authors, from Britain, the US and New Zealand, analysed 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 analysed the effect of Itraconazole, Fluconazole, Amphotericin B and Voriconazole versus 1,763 yeasts isolated from samples obtained from 472 patients, according to an Elsevier release.

The authors conclude that "Voriconazole exhibits high potency 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 (test tube) may help predict the response of patients to treatment.

These findings are scheduled for publication in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, published by Elsevier.

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