Treatment for deadly yeast disease reduced to three days

Treatment for deadly yeast disease reduced to three days
The team found the treatment for the deadly brain infection had the same effect after three days, as after the recommended two weeks

(Medical Xpress)—Initial treatment for a brain infection caused by fungus could now be treated in three days, rather than two weeks, due to study by University of Liverpool scientists.

Cryptococcus – a form of yeast – infections are often fatal but are relatively neglected in . They are found in many parts of the world, including Africa, Australasia and South East Asia and mainly affect people with . This infection kills up to 700,000 people a year.

Cryptococcus

The University research team tested the effects of the most commonly used drug on Cryptococcus infections of the brain and discovered that although the recommendation for is currently two weeks, the drug has been shown by the new studies to be effective at clearing the fungus within three days.

Professor of Therapeutics and Infectious Diseases, William Hope said: "This infection kills up to 700,000 people a year and is mainly fatal in areas with poor resources. In many parts of the world it is simply unfeasible to administer for two weeks."

The scientists in the Institute of Translational Medicine examined the effects of amphotericin B deoxycholate (dAmB) over both three and 14 day treatments and found that the effect was the same after three days as it was after two weeks.

The results in animal trials was compared with humans using a range of mathematical modelling techniques, to produce findings which suggest that the three day regime will be equally as effective in people.

The researchers believe that this opens up significant possibilities for treatment in areas where there is a scarcity of medically trained staff, who often have to ration the drugs they administer to patients.

The infection often takes hold in people with AIDS as a result of their immune systems being compromised, and areas with high rates of AIDS are also usually those without resources.

Accelerate changes

Professor Hope added: "A lot of the treatment administered with a variety of drugs is assumed and generalised. This is one example of how experimental medicine can help accelerate changes to improve outcomes for patients."

The next stage of the research will be to test it in clinical trials in humans. The findings were published in the journal mBio.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Breast cancer drug fights fungal disease

Feb 11, 2014

Tamoxifen, a drug currently used to treat breast cancer, also kills a fungus that causes a deadly brain infection in immunocompromised patients. The findings, which could lead to new treatments for a disease that kills more ...

New study finds titan cells protect Cryptococcus

May 28, 2012

Giant cells called "titan cells" protect the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans during infection, according to two University of Minnesota researchers. Kirsten Nielsen, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of microb ...

Combo therapy helps knock out fungal meningitis

Apr 03, 2013

(HealthDay)— A drug regimen containing two powerful antifungal medicines—amphotericin B and flucytosine—reduced the risk of dying from cryptococcal meningitis by 40 percent compared to treatment with ...

Breakthrough treatment for hepatitis C

Apr 15, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—A breakthrough treatment for hepatitis C that halves treatment time has been developed in an international clinical trial that included The University of Queensland.

Recommended for you

Ebola discoverer says would sit next to victim on train

7 hours ago

The scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus said the outbreak in west Africa was unlikely to trigger a major epidemic outside the region, adding he would happily sit next to an infected person on a train.

Peace Corps withdraws from W. Africa over Ebola fears

7 hours ago

The US Peace Corps announced Wednesday it was pulling hundreds of volunteers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to growing concerns over the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa.

User comments