Section 80
Chapter 79,199

Effect of Melanin Biosynthesis Inhibition on the Antifungal Susceptibility of Chromoblastomycosis Agents

Heidrich, D.; Pagani, D.M.; Koehler, A.; Alves, K.d.O.; Scroferneker, M.L.úc.

Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 65(8): E0054621


PMID: 33972246
Accession: 079198488

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Chromoblastomycosis (CBM) is a chronic subcutaneous infection caused by genera of melanized fungi: Fonsecaea, Cladophialophora, Phialophora, Exophiala, and Rhinocladiella. Melanin is a virulence factor known to influence antifungal susceptibility. A specific inhibitor of melanin biosynthesis is tricyclazole. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of melanin inhibition on antifungal susceptibility of chromoblastomycosis agents and describe the susceptibility profiles of some unusual CBM agents. Seventy-six clinical isolates, representing 13 species of the five main genera of CBM agents, were studied. The antifungal susceptibility testing was performed according to the M38-A2 protocol of CLSI (Reference Method for Broth Dilution Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of Filamentous Fungi, 3rd ed., CLSI Standard M38, 2017). In the melanin inhibition test, 16 mg/liter of tricyclazole was added to the medium used in the inoculum preparation and the susceptibility assay. CBM agents were less susceptible to amphotericin B than azoles and terbinafine. The unusual species showed similar susceptibility profiles to those of other species of the same genera. With tricyclazole exposure, MICs of terbinafine, posaconazole, and itraconazole for Fonsecaea spp. significantly decreased (P < 0.05). For Phialophora spp., this reduction was significant for posaconazole and itraconazole. For the other genera, there was a reduction in MICs of terbinafine and itraconazole; however, the statistical tests were not significant. Melanin inhibition can increase the antifungal susceptibility of most CBM agents to itraconazole and terbinafine, the main drugs used in the disease treatment. This increased susceptibility may open up new possibilities for therapy in refractory cases of CBM and/or cases caused by resistant fungal strains. Further studies are needed to confirm the same results in vivo.

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