Over a billion people are affected by fungal infections every year, ranging in severity from topical skin conditions like athlete’s foot to life-threatening fungal blood infections.
The infection is more likely to occur when the body’s immune system is compromised due to an illness like HIV/AIDS, cancer or when receiving antibiotic treatment. There is a pressing need to develop efficient and disease-specific antifungal agents to mitigate this growing drug resistance problem. Traditional antifungal therapeutics need to get inside the cell to attack the infection but have trouble targeting and penetrating the fungi membrane wall. Also, since fungi are metabolically similar to mammalian cells, existing drugs can have trouble differentiating between healthy and infected cells. Recognizing this, IBM scientists applied an organic catalytic process to facilitate the transformation of PET (waste), into entirely new molecules that can be transformed into antifungal agents.
Researchers at Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and California’s IBM Research -Almaden (IBM) have unveiled a nanomedicine breakthrough in common plastics like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that can be converted into non-toxic and biocompatible materials designed to specifically target and attack fungal infections. This is significant as plastic bottles are typically recycled by mechanical grounding and can mostly be reused only in secondary products like clothes, carpeting or playground equipment.
These new antifungal agents self-assemble through a hydrogen-bonding process, sticking to each other like molecular Velcro in a polymer-like fashion to form nanofibers. This is important because these antifungal agents are only active as a therapeutic in the fiber or polymer-like form. This novel nanofiber carries a positive charge and can selectively target and attach to only the negatively-charged fungal membranes based on electrostatic interaction. It then breaks through and destroys the fungal cell membrane walls, preventing it from developing resistance.
According to Dr Yi Yan Yang, Group Leader, IBN, “The ability of these molecules to self-assemble into nanofibers is important because unlike discrete molecules, fibers increase the local concentration of cationic charges and compound mass. This facilitates the targeting of the fungal membrane and its subsequent lysis, enabling the fungi to be destroyed at low concentrations.” Leveraging IBM Research’s computational capabilities, the researchers simulated the antifungal assemblies, predicting which structural modifications would create the desired therapeutic efficacy. “As computational predictive methodologies continue to advance, we can begin to establish ground rules for self assembly to design complex therapeutics to fight infections as well as the effective encapsulation, transport and delivery of a wide variety of cargos to their targeted diseased sites,” said Dr. James Hedrick, Advanced Organic Materials Scientist, IBM Research. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the nanofibers, which is the lowest concentration that inhibits the visible growth of fungi, demonstrated strong antifungal activity against multiple types of fungal infections. In further studies conducted by Singapore’s IBN, testing showed the nanofibers eradicated more than 99.9% of C. albicans, a fungal infection causing the third most common blood stream infection in the United States, after a single hour of incubation and indicated no resistance after 11 treatments. Conventional antifungal drugs were only able to suppress additional fungal growth while the infection exhibited drug resistance after six treatments.
Additional findings of this research indicated the nanofibers effectively dispersed fungal biofilms after one-time treatment while conventional antifungal drugs were not effective against biofilms. The in vivo antifungal activity of the nanofibers was also evaluated in a mouse model using a contact lens-associated C. albicans biofilm infection. The nanofibers significantly decreased the number of fungi, hindered new fungal structure growth in the cornea and reduced the severity of existing eye inflammation. These experiments also showed mammalian cells survived long after incubation with the nanofibers, indicating excellent in vitro biocompatibility. In addition, no significant tissue erosion is observed in the mouse cornea after topical application of the nanofibers.
In recent years, the number of opportunistic fungal infections has increased due to growing populations of patients with weakened immune systems, for example due to cancer, organ transplant or HIV/AIDS.
The Latest on: Antifungal agents
via Google News
The Latest on: Antifungal agents
- Questions over antibiotic use at Glasgow superhospitalon December 2, 2019 at 10:55 am
PARENTS of children being treated for cancer at Glasgow’s flagship hospital have demanded to know why they have been given prophylactic antibiotics and antifungal drugs if the hospital is safe.
- Nucleic acids enrichment of fungal pathogens to study host-pathogen interactionson December 2, 2019 at 3:43 am
Buffer RLT is a more powerful chemical agent (chaotropic) that is not affected by RNAlater ... Expanding our knowledge in this field will contribute to develop new diagnostic tools, identify potential ...
- Antifungal Drugs Market Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast to 2023on December 1, 2019 at 9:52 pm
A comprehensive research report created through extensive primary research (inputs from industry experts, companies, stakeholders) and secondary research, the report aims to present the analysis of ...
- CDC Warning: Antibiotic-Resistant Fungal Infections Are Still a Big Problemon November 30, 2019 at 1:03 am
Various U.S. government agencies have funded research that is leading to new antifungal drugs and improved diagnostic tests. Organizations that grade the quality of medical care for the public now ...
- Feline infectious peritonitis: From fatal to treatableon November 29, 2019 at 9:03 pm
The second category consists of both nonspecific and specific antivirals. Nonspecific antivirals include common drugs like itraconazole, an antifungal with antiviral properties. The problem with these ...
- Global Antifungal Agents Market Research Report 2019-2026: Industry Share and Size, by Value and Volumeon November 27, 2019 at 9:32 pm
Nov 28, 2019 (The Expresswire) -- Antifungal Agents Market share detailed information about the key factors influencing the growth of the market (growth potential, opportunities, drivers, ...
- Appili Therapeutics Acquires Clinical Stage Antifungal Program From FUJIFILM Toyama Chemicalon November 21, 2019 at 4:06 pm
This drug candidate is a novel broad-spectrum antifungal agent that has been evaluated in multiple preclinical studies and three human Phase I clinical trials. Today’s agreement with FUJIFILM Toyama ...
- ENTREVESTOR: Appili buys rights to anti-fungal drug candidateon November 21, 2019 at 3:17 pm
The new addition to the Appili portfolio is ATI-2307, a “novel broad-spectrum antifungal” that has qualities allowing it to treat diseases that have proven resistant to existing drugs. The Japanese ...
- Deadly drug-resistant superbug fungus now in 14 stateson November 20, 2019 at 8:55 pm
A deadly superbug fungus continues to spread around the world and has now been reported in 14 states. >> Read more trending news Candida auris is often resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly ...
- Sage Extract Market Is Expected To Provide Numerous Growth Opportunities For The Marketon November 20, 2019 at 7:13 pm
Sage is used as an herbal healing agent. It is the plant, which is native to the countries that are nearby ... It exhibits health beneficial properties such as antifungal, antioxidant, antiseptic, ...
via Bing News