Combination treatment of liposomal amphotericin B and isavuconazole is synergistic in treating experimental mucormycosis

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2021 Jul 15:dkab233. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkab233. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Liposomal amphotericin B (L-AMB) and isavuconazonium sulphate are commonly used antifungal drugs to treat mucormycosis. However, the efficacy of combination therapy of L-AMB/isavuconazonium sulphate versus monotherapy is unknown. We used an immunosuppressed mouse model of pulmonary mucormycosis to compare the efficacy of L-AMB/isavuconazonium sulphate versus either drug alone.

METHODS: Neutropenic mice were intratracheally infected with either Rhizopus delemar or Mucor circinelloides. Treatment with L-AMB, isavuconazonium sulphate, or a combination of both started 8 h post-infection and continued through to Day +4. Placebo mice received vehicle control. Survival to Day +21 and tissue fungal burden (by conidial equivalent using quantitative PCR) on Day +4, served as primary and secondary endpoints, respectively.

RESULTS: For mice infected with R. delemar, L-AMB and isavuconazonium sulphate equally prolonged median survival time and enhanced survival versus placebo (an overall survival of 50% for either drug alone, versus 5% for placebo). Importantly, combination treatment resulted in an overall survival of 80%. Both antifungal drugs reduced tissue fungal burden of lungs and brain by ∼1.0-2.0 log versus placebo-treated mice. Treatment with combination therapy resulted in 2.0-3.5 log reduction in fungal burden of either organ versus placebo and 1.0 log reduction versus either drug alone. Similar treatment outcomes were obtained using mice infected with M. circinelloides.

CONCLUSIONS: The L-AMB/isavuconazonium sulphate combination demonstrated greater activity versus monotherapy in immunosuppressed mice infected with either of the two most common causes of mucormycosis. These studies warrant further investigation of L-AMB/isavuconazonium sulphate combination therapy as an optimal therapy of human mucormycosis.

PMID:34263306 | DOI:10.1093/jac/dkab233