Research Topic

Use of chemosensitization to augment efficacy of antifungal agents

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There are two major problems with commercial antifungal agents, such as fungicides and antifungal drugs. One problem is the ability of targeted fungal pathogens to develop resistance. And, secondly, is potential for negative side-effects associated with use of the agents to the environment or the patient, ...

There are two major problems with commercial antifungal agents, such as fungicides and antifungal drugs. One problem is the ability of targeted fungal pathogens to develop resistance. And, secondly, is potential for negative side-effects associated with use of the agents to the environment or the patient, respectively. A third, and emerging problem, is stagnation in development of new, safe and effective antifungal agents.

Efforts to overcome these problems have involved using a combination of available agents. However, this attempted remedy has been inconsistent mainly as a result of increased negative side-effects, especially in chemotherapy.

A new approach to dealing with these problems, in both agriculture and medicine, has involved the use of chemosensitizing agents. These agents are, by definition, safe and when co-applied with an antifungal agent can result in an additive or synergistic interaction. This can provide a safe means of improving efficacy of an agent that ostensibly could result in lower dosages. Moreover, in some cases use of a chemosensitizing agents can overcome resistance.

Use of these chemosensitizing agents in fungal control is a new endeavor. Thus far, such agents include both synthetic and natural compounds, some having antifungal activity, alone. However, the overall mechanism by which chemosensitization functions is by disrupting the stress response system of the fungus. This disruption results in lowering the ability of the fungus to respond to treatment. However, the types and manner in which these disruptions occur in the fungus varies, depending upon the chemosensitizer employed.


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