Interferon-gamma as adjunctive immunotherapy for invasive fungal infections: a case series.
BMC Infect Dis. 2014;14:166
Authors: Delsing CE, Gresnigt MS, Leentjens J, Preijers F, Frager FA, Kox M, Monneret G, Venet F, Bleeker-Rovers CP, van de Veerdonk FL, Pickkers P, Pachot A, Kullberg BJ, Netea MG
BACKGROUND: Invasive fungal infections are very severe infections associated with high mortality rates, despite the availability of new classes of antifungal agents. Based on pathophysiological mechanisms and limited pre-clinical and clinical data, adjunctive immune-stimulatory therapy with interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) may represent a promising candidate to improve outcome of invasive fungal infections by enhancing host defence mechanisms.
METHODS: In this open-label, prospective case series, we describe eight patients with invasive Candida and/or Aspergillus infections who were treated with recombinant IFN-γ (rIFN-γ, 100 μg s.c., thrice a week) for 2 weeks in addition to standard antifungal therapy.
RESULTS: Recombinant IFN-γ treatment in patients with invasive Candida and/or Aspergillus infections partially restored immune function, as characterized by an increased HLA-DR expression in those patients with a baseline expression below 50%, and an enhanced capacity of leukocytes from treated patients to produce proinflammatory cytokines involved in antifungal defence.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides evidence that adjunctive immunotherapy with IFN-γ can restore immune function in fungal sepsis patients, warranting future clinical studies to assess its potential clinical benefit.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov–NCT01270490.
PMID: 24669841 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]