Antifungal efficacy of caspofungin (MK-0991) in experimental pulmonary aspergillosis in persistently neutropenic rabbits: Pharmacokinetics, drug disposition, and relationship to galactomannan antigenemia

R. Petraitiene, V. Petraitis, A. H. Groll, T. Sein, R. L. Schaufele, A. Francesconi, J. Bacher, N. A. Avila, T. J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The antifungal efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and safety of caspofungin (CAS) were investigated in the treatment and prophylaxis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis due to Aspergillus fumigatus in persistently neutropenic rabbits. Antifungal therapy consisted of 1, 3, or 6 mg of CAS/kg of body weight/day (CAS1, CAS3, and CAS6, respectively) or 1 mg of deoxycholate amphotericin B (AMB)/kg/day intravenously for 12 days starting 24 h after endotracheal inoculation. Prophylaxis (CAS1) was initiated 4 days before endotracheal inoculation. Rabbits treated with CAS had significant improvement in survival and reduction in organism-mediated pulmonary injury (OMPI) measured by pulmonary infarct score and total lung weight (P < 0.01). However, animals treated with CAS demonstrated a paradoxical trend toward increased residual fungal burden (log CFU per gram) and increased serum galactomannan antigen index (GMI) despite improved survival. Rabbits receiving prophylactic CAS1 also showed significant improvement in survival and reduction in OMPI (P < 0.01), but there was no effect on residual fungal burden. In vitro tetrazolium salt hyphal damage assays and histologic studies demonstrated that CAS had concentration- and dose-dependent effects on hyphal structural integrity. In parallel with a decline in GMI, AMB significantly reduced the pulmonary tissue burden or A. fumigatus (P ≤ 0.01). The CAS1, CAS3, and CAS6 dose regimens demonstrated dose-proportional exposure and maintained drug levels in plasma above the MIC for the entire 24-h dosing interval at doses that were ≥3 mg/kg/day. As serial galactomannan antigen levels may be used for therapeutic monitoring, one should be aware that profoundly neutropenic patients receiving echinocandins for aspergillosis might have persistent galactomannan antigenemia despite clinical improvement. CAS improved survival, reduced pulmonary injury, and caused dose-dependent hyphal damage but with no reduction in residual fungal burden or galactomannan antigenemia in persistently nutropenic rabbits with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-23
Number of pages12
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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