Comparative in vitro pharmacodynamics of caspofungin, micafungin, and anidulafungin against germinated and nongerminated Aspergillus conidia

Charalampos Antachopoulos, Joseph Meletiadis, Tin Sein, Emmanuel Roilides, Thomas J. Walsh

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71 Scopus citations


The concentration-dependent effects of echinocandins on the metabolic activity of Aspergillus spp. were comparatively studied by using nongerminated and germinated conidia. The susceptibilities of 11 Aspergillus fumigatus, 8 A. terreus and 8 A. flavus isolates to caspofungin, micafungin, and anidulafungin were studied by a CLSI (formerly NCCLS) M38-A broth microdilution-based method. After 48 h of incubation the minimum effective concentration (MEC) was defined microscopically. Metabolic activity was assessed by the 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4- nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide assay and modeled by using the sigmoid (Emax) or "bell-shaped" model. The median MEC values of caspofungin (0.5 to 1 μg/ml), micafungin (0.06 to 0.12 μg/ml), and anidulafungin (0.03 μg/ml) against nongerminated conidia increased by 0 to 1, 1 to 2, and 2 to 3 twofold dilutions, respectively (depending on the species), over those against germinated conidia. A similar shift to the right was demonstrated for the corresponding curves of metabolic activity. There was a significant correlation between the degrees of maximal metabolic inhibition caused by different echinocandins at both the species level (greater inhibition for A. flavus) and the strain level (r = 0.84 to 0.93; P < 0.0001). Paradoxical increases in metabolism in the presence of higher concentrations of caspofungin, micafungin, and anidulafungin were detected in 6, 2, and 5 of the A. fumigatus isolates, respectively; 5, 1, and 2 of the A. terreus isolates, respectively; and 1, 0, and 0 of the A. flavus isolates, respectively. Based on the model, 50% of the maximal paradoxical increase was detected with 4.2, 11.1, and 10.8 μg/ml of caspofungin, micafungin, and anidulafungin, respectively. All echinocandins therefore exerted comparable levels of maximal metabolic inhibition against Aspergillus spp. at concentrations that were differentially increased for germinated versus nongerminated conidia. The paradoxical increase in metabolism occurred more frequently and at lower concentrations with caspofungin than with micafungin and anidulafungin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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