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Antibiotics & Aspergillus


Aspergillus Antibiotic Treatment - Antibiotics Aspergillus

Aspergillus is a common type of fungus that grows on decaying vegetation, such as compost heaps and fallen leaves. It can also be found in air-conditioning systems and hospitals.

Some people with asthma are allergic to the fungal spores. These can trigger an asthma attack if inhaled. Some people will develop a condition known as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), in which asthma worsens significantly as a result of increased lung inflammation.

In rare cases, a person may suffer serious lung or other organ infection with this fungus. Some severely ill people, or those whose resistance is lowered because they are taking medications which suppress their immune system, may be affected.

Aspergillus spp. are thermotolerant fungi that cause significant disease among immunocompromised hosts, primarily pneumonia and sinusitis that will disseminate to other organs including the skin and the brain (see the definition).

These fungi are ubiquitous, found in soil, water and decaying material and cause infections by inhalation of contaminated aerosols. The most common species causing infection include Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus, and Aspergillus fumigatus.

The attributable mortality of pneumonia caused by Aspergillus species was 85%. Up to 12.5% of at risk patients may develop infections. However, the incidence of this disease is clearly dependent upon a number of factors including the type of and amount of immunosuppression, conditioning process used during transplantation, the severity of GVHD that develops, the institutionís air filtration and the environment, the season and other undefined or competing factors. The data supporting aspergillus as an environmental pathogen include that infection starts in sinuses or lungs.

Aspergillus molds are found everywhere world-wide, especially in the autumn and winter in the Northern hemisphere. The genus includes over 150 species but only a few of these molds can cause illness in humans and animals. Most people are naturally immune and do not develop disease caused by Aspergillus. However, when disease does occur, it takes several forms. The type of diseases caused by Aspergillus are varied, ranging from an "allergy"-type illness to life-threatening generalized infections. Diseases caused by Aspergillus are called aspergillosis. The severity of aspergillosis is determined by various factors but one of the most important is the state of the immune system of the person.

Aspergillus versicolor Conidia dimensions 2-3.5 microns. It is commonly found in soil, hay. cotton and dairy products. As the name of this fungus implies, the conidia A. versicolor may be of various colors. This species is very common and displays great variability in colony pattern and size.

Treatment of Aspergillus

A fungus ball is usually not treated unless there is bleeding into the lung tissue. In that case, surgery is required.

Invasive aspergillosis is treated with several weeks of an antifungal drug called voriconizole. It can be given orally or in an IV (directly into a vein). Amphotericin B or itraconazole can also be used.

Endocarditis caused by Aspergillus is treated by surgically removing the infected heart valves. Long-term amphotericin B therapy is also needed.

Antifungal drugs do not help people with allergic aspergillosis. Allergic aspergillosis is treated with immunosuppressive drugs -- most often prednisone taken by mouth.

Antibiotics from Aspergillus Amstelodami
A strain of Aspergillus amstelodami, which antagonized the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, was shown to produce at least two antibiotic substances. A liquid medium was developed for their production, and cultural and assay procedures were defined. The antibiotics appear to be distinct from previously described derivatives of the true fungi and were named Amodin A and Amodin B. Both are active against certain Grampositive and acid-fast organisms, but Amodin B has the wider antibiotic spectrum and is active against some Gram-negative organisms and strains of Candida albicans. Amodin A was produced in surface and submerged cultures, but in better yield in the latter; it was extracted and prepared as a crude product. It appears to be a moderately heat-labile peptide; though non-toxic to mice it did not prolong their survival when infected with Staphylococcus aureus or M. tuberculosis at the dosage of antibiotic used. Amodin B appeared only in surface cultures and was mainly present in the mycelium, from which it was liberated by dilute acid. It is relatively heat-stable and not inactivated by proteolytic enzymes. Amodin A production appears to be linked with the conidial mode of sporulation and Amodin B with the perithecial mode.

Activity of antibiotics against Fusarium and Aspergillus.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: To study the susceptibility of Fusarium and Aspergillus isolated from keratitis to amoxicillin, cefazolin, chloramphenicol, moxifloxacin, tobramycin and benzalkonium chloride (BAK).

METHODS: 10 isolates of Fusarium and 10 isolates of Aspergillus from cases of fungal keratitis at Aravind Eye Hospital in South India were tested using microbroth dilution for susceptibility to amoxicillin, cefazolin, chloramphenicol, moxifloxacin, tobramycin and BAK. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) median and 90th percentile were determined.

RESULTS: BAK had the lowest MIC for both Fusarium and Aspergillus. Chloramphenicol had activity against both Fusarium and Aspergillus, while moxifloxacin and tobramycin had activity against Fusarium but not Aspergillus.

CONCLUSIONS: The susceptibility of Fusarium to tobramycin, moxifloxacin, chloramphenicol and BAK and of Aspergillus to chloramphenicol and BAK may explain anecdotal reports of fungal ulcers that improved with antibiotic treatment alone. While some of the MICs of antibiotics and BAK are lower than the typically prescribed concentrations, they are not in the range of antifungal agents such as voriconazole, natamycin and amphotericin B. Antibiotics may, however, have a modest effect on Fusarium and Aspergillus when used as initial treatment prior to identification of the pathological organism.

Aspergillosis
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