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Flashcards in topic 16 Deck (22):

What are 4 categories of fungal infections? How are they treated?

Superficial Mycoses

Topical or less toxic oral

Subcutaneous Mycoses
Systemic Mycoses

oral or IV, often more toxic


What are some examples and characteristics of superficial mycoses?

Fungus only in the most external epidermis
Signs/symptoms mostly due to by-products of fungus

Tinea versicolor
Malessezia globosa, malessezia furfur
Normally found on skin, unclear reason for why it is symptomatic only in some people


What are some characteristics and examples of cutaneous mycoses?

Often associated with areas of the body that have poor aeration with excessive moisture/sweating, tight clothing, high humidity climates
Tinea refers to a fungal infection of the skin
Aka skin mycoses, ringworm. Often presents as a raised ring with central area of healing, dry flaking, loss of hair in involved area
Tinea corporis
Tinea pedis (“athlete’s foot”)
Tinea cruris (“jock itch”)
Tinea capitis (mycosis of the scalp)
Tinea barbae (mycosis of the beards and moustaches)
Tinea unguium (often called Onychomycosis, mycosis of the nails).


What are some characteristics and examples of subcutaneous mycoses?

Often caused by puncture wounds contaminated with soil fungi
Often appear as a small nodule that grows and may drain or ulcerate
May become systemic, especially in immunocompromised
Tropical or subtropical areas
Pseudallescherias boydii
Soil fungus
Caused by Sprothrix schenckii
aka Rose-gardener’s disease


What are some characteristics and examples of systemic mycoses?

Fungal infection other than skin or subcutaneous nodules
Soft Tissue Infection
Urinary Tract Infection


What are some examples of endemic mycoses and opportunistic mycoses?

Endemic: Soil fungi, usually inhaled, large inoculum to start disease, rare
Blastomycosis (Blastomyces dermatitides)*
Mississippi river, Ohio river, Great lakes
Coccidiomycosis (Coccidioides immitis)*
Southwest USA
Paracoccidiomycosis (Paracoccidiodes brasiliensis)*
Central and South America
Histoplasma (Histoplasma capsulatum)*
Eastern and central USA
Bat and bird droppings
“Cave disease”

Aspergillus **
Candida **


What are some characteristics of candida albicans?

Normally found in GI tract, vagina of many healthy humans, kept under control by normal bacterial flora
Overgrowth can cause disease, can be cutaneous (including mucosal), subcutaneous, or systemic

Risk factors for candida infections
Immunosuppressed states
Steroid use

Cutaneous involvement, usually in moist areas
Groin, axilla, gluteal fold, abdominal folds, inframammary crease

Mucosal candidal infection is sometimes referred to as “thrush” (more common for oral involvement)




Esophogeal (immunocompromised)
In blood (candidemia/fungemia)


What are two examples of polyenes and what are their mech of action?

Amphotericin B, nystatin

Preferentially binds to ergosterol found in fungi (as opposed to cholesterol found in human cells)
With ergosterol, they form pores in membranes
Also form pores in human cells with cholesterol with significant side effects
Monovalent ions pass through the pores


What is the admin, adsorp of nystatin? What is it used for?

Highly insoluble and toxic if given IV
Oral-Minimal GI absorption
Available in oral and topical forms
Effective against Candida

Used for cutaneous mycoses, especially cutaneous candidal infections (not for systemic mycoses)
Oral or vulvovaginal candidiasis
Powder for tinea


What is the admin, adsorp, distrib of amphotericin B? What is it used for? What are its major side effects?

Drug of choice for most systemic, life-threatening infections
Broad spectrum of activity against most fungi
Does not enter CNS – intrathecal injection for fungal meningitis
Administered IV – poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract

Major side effects of IV form
nephrotoxicity – dose dependent, >50% of patients
Monitor creatinine
Common reactions associated with IV administrations: hypotension, fever, chills, headache, nausea
Neurological effects with intrathecal

Given topically, it is poorly absorbed and doesn't have all the side effects.


How can the nephrotoxicity involved with amphotericin B be reduced? What is the downfall?

Lipid formulations of Amphotericin B, as compared to the conventional formulation, are less nephrotoxic, and may have less toxicity associated with infusion (fever, chills, hypotension).

The lipid formulations, however, are much more expensive.
May be able to give higher doses of Ampho B, used for treatment failure with conventional Ampho B. Also used in patients with renal failure.


What is the mech of action of 5-fluorocysteine?

5-FC enters cell through a permease

5-FC is converted to 5-fluorouracil by cytosine deaminase, then converted to 5-FdUMP

Permease is not found in human cells

5-FdUMP inhibits DNA synthesis by inhibiting dTMP synthesis


What is the admin, absorp of 5-FC? What is it used for? What are the side effects?

Very high rates of resistant strains when used alone
Don’t use as monotherapy

Used in conjunction with Amphotericin B
Ampho B increases cell wall permeability, allowing 5-FC to enter fungal cell more easily

Inhibits fungal DNA synthesis

Administered orally

Effective against

Major side effects
Elevated hepatic enzymes
Gastrointestinal disturbances
Bone marrow suppression


What is the mech of action of azoles? What are the two different kinds? Examples of each? Difference between the two kinds?

They inhibit lanosterol 14-alpha demethylase.

There are imidazoles :
Miconazole (only in topical form),
Clotrimazole (only in topical form))

Triazoles: (lower toxicity profile)


What are the admin and absorp of miconazole and clotrimazole?

Too toxic to give IV, are available only as topical preparations (which are poorly absorbed)


What is the admin, absorp, distrib, spectrum, and side effects of Ketoconazole?

Broad spectrum

Does not penetrate into CSF

Oral and topical (e.g. Nizoral for dandruff)

Major side effects
Inhibits testosterone and cortisol production by interfering with CYP450 metabolism
GI distress
Hepatic dysfunction

Oral preparation requires acidic gastric environment, decreased absorption with antacids, H2-receptor blockers, proton pump blockers

Has been replaced by the Triazoles which have more favorable side-effect profiles, better pharmacokinetics, and are generally more effective for systemic mycoses


What is the admin, absorp, distrib of triazoles? What is their spectrum? What are their side effects?

Triazoles available in the US

All are broad spectrum

Oral and IV

Improved adverse-effect profile
No steroid metabolism interference
Better GI tolerance
Still has CYP450 interactions, multiple drug interactions

All triazoles penetrate into CSF except itraconazole

Voriconazole is now drug of choice for Aspergillus, replacing Amphotericin B

The triazoles have largely replaced ketaconazole in the treatment of systemic mycoses


What are 4 general characteristics of azoles concerning side effects of drug interactions?

All azoles are metabolized by and affect cytochrome P450 activity. Numerous drug interactions are known.

All azoles can cause hepatic dysfunction.

Azoles should be avoided during pregnancy.

Theoretically, azoles should antagonize Amphotericin B, and probably should not be used together


What are 3 examples of echinocandins? How are they used? What is their mechanism? side effects? cost?

Caspofungin, micafungin, anidulafungin

Newer on the market

Usually used as second-line agents after Ampho B or azoles

Inhibits cell wall biosynthesis
Inhibit fungal beta(1,3)-glucan synthesis

Effective against Aspergillus and Candida

Relatively few side effects



What is an example of a grisan? What is its mechanism? Where does it bind on the body? What is its admin? What are its side effects?

Inhibits microtubule function – prevents mitosis

Binds to keratin in skin and hair, makes the skin and hair resistant to fungal infections

Typically 6-12 week therapy

Effective against dermatophytes, used in a variety of tinea infections

Given orally

Major side affects - rare
GI irritation
Bone marrow suppression


What are 3 examples of allylamines and how are they administered? What is their mechanism? What are they used to treat? What are their side effects?

Terbinafine (oral and topical), Butenafine (topical), Naftifine (topical)

Terbinafine is commercially sold as Lamisil (fungus demon commercials)

Inhibits squalene epoxide, needed in ergosterol synthesis

Used to treat tinea,Oral terbenafine often used for onychomycosis.

Adverse effects with terbenafine are uncommon, mostly GI upset and headaches


What are three drugs that fungi develop resistance against and what are examples of how they do it?

Resistance very common when used alone
Mechanisms of resistance
Mutation in cytosine permease
Mutation in deaminase

Azole resistance
Change in expression of efflux pumps
Mutation in demethylase
Upregulation of demethylase

Amphotericin resistance – rarely occurs
Reduced amount of membrane ergosterol
Altered membrane lipids/sterol composition