Essential Oil-Based Design and Development of Novel Anti-Candida Azoles Formulation.
ABSTRACT: Candida is the most common fungal class, causing both superficial and invasive diseases in humans. Although Candida albicans is the most common cause of fungal infections in humans, C. auris is a new emergent serious pathogen causing complications similar to those of C. albicans. Both C. albicans and C. auris are associated with high mortality rates, mainly because of their multidrug-resistance patterns against most available antifungal drugs. Although several compounds were designed against C. albicans, very few or none were tested on C. auris. Therefore, it is urgent to develop novel effective antifungal drugs that can accommodate not only C. albicans, but also other Candida spp., particularly newly emergent one, including C. auris. Inspired by the significant broad-spectrum antifungal activities of the essential oil cuminaldehyde and the reported wide incorporation of azoles in the antifungal drugs, a series of compounds (UoST1-11) was designed and developed. The new compounds were designed to overcome the toxicity of the aldehyde group of cuminaldehyde and benefit from the antifungal selectivity of azoles. The new developed UoST compounds showed significant anti-Candida activities against both Candida species. The best candidate compound, UoST5, was further formulated into polymeric nanoparticles (NPs). The new formula, UoST5-NPs, showed similar activities to the nanoparticles-free drug, while providing only 25% release after 24 h, maintainng prolonged activity up to 48 h and affording no toxicity. In conclusion, new azole formulations with significantly enhanced activities against C. albicans and C. auris, while maintaining prolonged action and no toxicities at lower concentrations, were developed.
Project description:Opportunistic pathogens of the genus Candida reign as the leading cause of mycotic disease and are associated with mortality rates greater than 40%, even with antifungal intervention. This is in part due to the limited arsenal of antifungals available to treat systemic fungal infections. Azoles have been the most widely deployed class of antifungal drug for decades and function by targeting the biosynthesis of ergosterol, a key component of the fungal cell membrane. However, their utility is compromised by their fungistatic nature, which favors the development of resistance. Combination therapy has the potential to confer enhanced efficacy as well as mitigate the evolution of resistance. Previously, we described the generation of structurally diverse macrocyclic peptides with a 1,3,4-oxadiazole and an endocyclic amine grafted within the peptide backbone. Importantly, this noncanonical backbone displayed high membrane permeability, an important attribute for compounds that need to permeate across the fungal cell wall and membrane in order to reach their intracellular target. Here, we explored the bioactivity of this novel chemical scaffold on its own and in combination with the azole fluconazole. Although few of the oxadiazole-containing macrocyclic peptides displayed activity against Candida albicans on their own, many increased the efficacy of fluconazole, resulting in a synergistic combination that was independent of efflux inhibition. Interestingly, these molecules also enhanced azole activity against several non-albicans Candida species, including the azole-resistant pathogens Candida glabrata and Candida auris This work characterizes a novel chemical scaffold that possesses azole-potentiating activity against clinically important Candida species.IMPORTANCE Fungal infections, such as those caused by pathogenic Candida species, pose a serious threat to human health. Treating these infections relies heavily on the use of azole antifungals; however, resistance to these drugs develops readily, demanding novel therapeutic strategies. This study characterized the antifungal activity of a series of molecules that possess unique chemical attributes and the ability to traverse cellular membranes. We observed that many of the compounds increased the activity of the azole fluconazole against Candida albicans, without blocking the action of drug efflux pumps. These molecules also increased the efficacy of azoles against other Candida species, including the emerging azole-resistant pathogen Candida auris Thus, we describe a novel chemical scaffold with broad-spectrum bioactivity against clinically important fungal pathogens.
Project description:Candida auris is an emerging fungal pathogen that exhibits resistance to multiple drugs, including the most commonly prescribed antifungal, fluconazole. Here, we use a combinatorial screening approach to identify a bis-benzodioxolylindolinone (azoffluxin) that synergizes with fluconazole against C. auris. Azoffluxin enhances fluconazole activity through the inhibition of efflux pump Cdr1, thus increasing intracellular fluconazole levels. This activity is conserved across most C. auris clades, with the exception of clade III. Azoffluxin also inhibits efflux in highly azole-resistant strains of Candida albicans, another human fungal pathogen, increasing their susceptibility to fluconazole. Furthermore, azoffluxin enhances fluconazole activity in mice infected with C. auris, reducing fungal burden. Our findings suggest that pharmacologically targeting Cdr1 in combination with azoles may be an effective strategy to control infection caused by azole-resistant isolates of C. auris.
Project description:Invasive fungal infections due to Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Cryptococcus neoformans constitute a substantial threat to hospitalized immunocompromised patients. Further, the presence of drug-recalcitrant biofilms on medical devices and emergence of drug-resistant fungi, such as Candida auris, introduce treatment challenges with current antifungal drugs. Worse, currently there is no approved drug capable of obviating preformed biofilms, which increase the chance of infection relapses. Here, we screened a small-molecule New Prestwick Chemical Library, consisting of 1,200 FDA-approved off-patent drugs against C. albicans, C. auris, and A. fumigatus, to identify those that inhibit growth of all three pathogens. Inhibitors were further prioritized for their potency against other fungal pathogens and their ability to kill preformed biofilms. Our studies identified the bis-biguanide alexidine dihydrochloride (AXD) as a drug with the highest antifungal and antibiofilm activity against a diverse range of fungal pathogens. Finally, AXD significantly potentiated the efficacy of fluconazole against biofilms, displayed low mammalian cell toxicity, and eradicated biofilms growing in mouse central venous catheters in vivo, highlighting its potential as a pan-antifungal drug.IMPORTANCE The prevalence of fungal infections has seen a rise in the past decades due to advances in modern medicine leading to an expanding population of device-associated and immunocompromised patients. Furthermore, the spectrum of pathogenic fungi has changed, with the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains such as C. auris High mortality related to fungal infections points to major limitations of current antifungal therapy and an unmet need for new antifungal drugs. We screened a library of repurposed FDA-approved inhibitors to identify compounds with activities against a diverse range of fungi in varied phases of growth. The assays identified alexidine dihydrochloride (AXD) to have pronounced antifungal activity, including against preformed biofilms, at concentrations lower than mammalian cell toxicity. AXD potentiated the activity of fluconazole and amphotericin B against Candida biofilms in vitro and prevented biofilm growth in vivo Thus, AXD has the potential to be developed as a pan-antifungal, antibiofilm drug.
Project description:Fungal infections are a major contributor to infectious disease-related deaths worldwide. Recently, global emergence of the fungal pathogen Candida auris has caused considerable concern because most C. auris isolates are resistant to fluconazole, the most commonly administered antifungal, and some isolates are resistant to drugs from all three major antifungal classes. To identify novel agents with bioactivity against C. auris, we screened 2,454 compounds from a diversity-oriented synthesis collection. Of the five hits identified, most shared a common rocaglate core structure and displayed fungicidal activity against C. auris These rocaglate hits inhibited translation in C. auris but not in its pathogenic relative Candida albicans Species specificity was contingent on variation at a single amino acid residue in Tif1, a fungal member of the eukaryotic initiation factor 4A (eIF4A) family of translation initiation factors known to be targeted by rocaglates. Rocaglate-mediated inhibition of translation in C. auris activated a cell death program characterized by loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, increased caspase-like activity, and disrupted vacuolar homeostasis. In a rocaglate-sensitized C. albicans mutant engineered to express translation initiation factor 1 (Tif1) with the variant amino acid that we had identified in C. auris, translation was inhibited but no programmed cell death phenotypes were observed. This surprising finding suggests divergence between these related fungal pathogens in their pathways of cellular responses to translation inhibition. From a therapeutic perspective, the chemical biology that we have uncovered reveals species-specific vulnerability in C. auris and identifies a promising target for development of new, mechanistically distinct antifungals in the battle against this emerging pathogen.IMPORTANCE Emergence of the fungal pathogen Candida auris has ignited intrigue and alarm within the medical community and the public at large. This pathogen is unusually resistant to antifungals, threatening to overwhelm current management options. By screening a library of structurally diverse molecules, we found that C. auris is surprisingly sensitive to translation inhibition by a class of compounds known as rocaglates (also known as flavaglines). Despite the high level of conservation across fungi in their protein synthesis machinery, these compounds inhibited translation initiation and activated a cell death program in C. auris but not in its relative Candida albicans Our findings highlight a surprising divergence across the cell death programs operating in Candida species and underscore the need to understand the specific biology of a pathogen in attempting to develop more-effective treatments against it.
Project description:Candida species are a leading source of healthcare infections globally. The limited number of antifungal drugs combined with the isolation of Candida species, namely C. albicans and C. auris, exhibiting resistance to current antifungals necessitates the development of new therapeutics. The present study tested 85 synthetic phenylthiazole small molecules for antifungal activity against drug-resistant C. albicans. Compound 1 emerged as the most potent molecule, inhibiting growth of C. albicans and C. auris strains at concentrations ranging from 0.25-2?µg/mL. Additionally, compound 1 inhibited growth of other clinically-relevant yeast (Cryptococcus) and molds (Aspergillus) at a concentration as low as 0.50?µg/mL. Compound 1 exhibited rapid fungicidal activity, reducing the burden of C. albicans and C. auris below the limit of detection within 30?minutes. Compound 1 exhibited potent antibiofilm activity, similar to amphotericin B, reducing the metabolic activity of adherent C. albicans and C. auris biofilms by more than 66% and 50%, respectively. Furthermore, compound 1 prolonged survival of Caenorhabditis elegans infected with strains of C. albicans and C. auris, relative to the untreated control. The present study highlights phenylthiazole small molecules, such as compound 1, warrant further investigation as novel antifungal agents for drug-resistant Candida infections.
Project description:Several studies have demonstrated the significant antiviral, antimicrobial, antiplasmodial, antioxidative, antifungal, antimutagenic, and antitumor properties of harmine hydrochloride (HMH). The main objective of the present study was to investigate the antifungal effects and underlying mechanisms of HMH when combined with azoles to determine whether such combinations act in a synergistic manner. As a result, we found that HMH exhibits synergistic antifungal effects in combination with azoles against resistant Candida albicans (C. albicans) planktonic cells, as well as resistant C. albicans biofilm in the early stage. Antifungal potential of HMH with fluconazole was also explored in vivo using an invertebrate model. Our results suggest that HMH combined with azoles is synergistic against resistant C. albicans in vitro and in vivo. No synergy is seen with azole sensitive C. albicans strains nor with other Candida species. Such synergistic mechanisms on resistance C. albicans are involved in increasing intracellular azoles, inhibiting hyphal growth, disturbing cytosolic calcium concentration, and inducing apoptosis of resistant C. albicans cells.
Project description:Candidaauris, a new multidrug-resistant Candida spp. which is associated with invasive infection and high rates of mortality, has recently emerged. Here, we determined the virulence factors (germination, adherence, biofilm formation, phospholipase and proteinase production) of 16 C. auris isolates and their susceptibilities to 11 drugs belonging to different antifungal classes, including a novel orally bioavailable 1,3-β-d-glucan synthesis inhibitor (SCY-078). We also examined the effect of SCY-078 on the growth, ultrastructure, and biofilm-forming abilities of C. auris Our data showed that while the tested strains did not germinate, they did produce phospholipase and proteinase in a strain-dependent manner and had a significantly reduced ability to adhere and form biofilms compared to that of Candida albicans (P = 0.01). C. auris isolates demonstrated reduced susceptibility to fluconazole and amphotericin B, while, in general, they were susceptible to the remaining drugs tested. SCY-078 had an MIC90 of 1 mg/liter against C. auris and caused complete inhibition of the growth of C. auris and C. albicans Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed that SCY-078 interrupted C. auris cell division, with the organism forming abnormal fused fungal cells. Additionally, SCY-078 possessed potent antibiofilm activity, wherein treated biofilms demonstrated significantly reduced metabolic activity and a significantly reduced thickness compared to the untreated control (P < 0.05 for both comparisons). Our study shows that C. auris expresses several virulence determinants (albeit to a lesser extent than C. albicans) and is resistant to fluconazole and amphotericin B. SCY-078, the new orally bioavailable antifungal, had potent antifungal/antibiofilm activity against C. auris, indicating that further evaluation of this antifungal is warranted.
Project description:The use of antifungal agents in clinical settings is limited by the appearance of drug resistance and adverse side effects. There is, therefore, an urgent need to develop new drugs to strengthen the treatment of invasive fungal diseases. The aim of this study is to describe the potential repurposing of ribavirin as an adjunct therapy against Candida spp. Primary screening of a Prestwick Chemical library against Candida albicans ATCC 90028 and fluconazole-resistant Candida albicans strains was performed. Subsequently, we evaluated the responses of 100 Candida sp. strains to ribavirin, an antiviral agent, using the broth microdilution method as recommended by CLSI. We checked the involvement of efflux pump activity in the development of ribavirin resistance. We studied time-kill curves and performed a checkerboard assay for a ribavirin-antifungal combination study. Twenty-one nonstandard antifungal compounds were identified, including ribavirin. Ribavirin had antifungal activity in vitro against 63 Candida strains, including strains of C. albicans, C. parapsilosis, and C. tropicalis, with MICs ranging from 0.37 to 3.02??g/ml, while MICs for C. krusei, C. glabrata, C. lusitaniae, and some C. albicans strains remained high (?24.16 ?g/ml). No relation was observed between efflux pump activity and ribavirin resistance. Ribavirin exhibited fungistatic activity against multidrug-resistant (MDR) C. albicans and fungicidal activity against a C. parapsilosis strain. In addition, ribavirin acted synergistically with azoles against Candida strains for which ribavirin MICs were <24.4 ?g/ml. This study highlights the potential clinical application of ribavirin, alone or in association with other antifungal agents, as an adjunct anti-Candida drug.
Project description:Azoles are antifungal drugs used to treat fungal infections such as candidiasis in humans. Their extensive use has led to the emergence of drug resistance, complicating antifungal therapy for yeast infections in critically ill patients. Combination therapy has become popular in clinical practice as a potential strategy to fight resistant fungal isolates. Recently, amphiphilic tobramycin analogues, C12 and C14, were shown to display antifungal activities. Herein, the antifungal synergy of C12 and C14 with four azoles, fluconazole (FLC), itraconazole (ITC), posaconazole (POS), and voriconazole (VOR), was examined against seven Candida albicans strains. All tested strains were synergistically inhibited by C12 when combined with azoles, with the exception of C. albicans 64124 and MYA-2876 by FLC and VOR. Likewise, when combined with POS and ITC, C14 exhibited synergistic growth inhibition of all C. albicans strains, except C. albicans MYA-2876 by ITC. The combinations of FLC-C14 and VOR-C14 showed synergistic antifungal effect against three C. albicans and four C. albicans strains, respectively. Finally, synergism between C12/C14 and POS were confirmed by time-kill and disk diffusion assays. These results suggest the possibility of combining C12 or C14 with azoles to treat invasive fungal infections at lower administration doses or with a higher efficiency.
Project description:Since its original isolation in 2009, Candida auris has spread across the globe as a causative agent of invasive candidiasis. C. auris is typically intrinsically resistant to fluconazole and can also be resistant to echinocandins and even amphotericin B. Thus, there is an urgent need to find new treatment options against this emerging pathogen. To address this growing problem, we performed a screen of the Prestwick Chemical library, a repurposing library of 1,280 small molecules, consisting mostly of approved off-patent drugs, in search of those with activity against a multidrug-resistant C. auris isolate. Our initial screen, using standardized susceptibility testing methodologies, identified nine miscellaneous compounds with no previous clinical indication as antifungals or antiseptics that displayed activity against C. auris Confirmation and follow-up studies identified ebselen as the drug displaying the most potent activity, with 100% inhibition of growth detected at concentrations as low as 2.5 ?M. We further evaluated the ability of ebselen to inhibit C. auris biofilm formation and examined the effects of combination therapies of ebselen with clinically used antifungals. We extended our studies to different C. auris strains with various susceptibility patterns and also confirmed its antifungal activity against Candida albicans and clinical isolates of multiple other Candida species. Furthermore, ebselen displayed a broad spectrum of antifungal actions on the basis of its activity against a variety of medically important fungi, including yeasts and molds. Overall, our results indicate the promise of ebselen as a repositionable agent for the treatment of candidiasis and possibly other mycoses and, in particular, for the treatment of infections refractory to conventional treatment with current antifungals.