THERE is a shortage of antimycotic drugs1,2, especially those for the treatment of systemic fungal diseases. Patients on immunosuppressive therapy or cancer chemotherapy are particularly susceptible to opportunist fungal infections3, and histoplasmosis, blastomycosis and coccidioidomycosis are major health problems in some tropical countries4. For such infections, amphotericin B, 5-fluorocytosine, miconazole and clotrimazole are mainly used. The first of these drugs is nephrotoxic and the second often induces resistant strains of fungi5. Griseofulvin is given orally but is effective only for cutaneous infections6. A new approach, which we are investigating, is to attack the fungal cell wall by way of the glucans it contains. Preliminary results obtained with ‘mycolases’, mixtures of enzymes of fungal origin containing various carbohydrases, including chitinase and laminarinase are reported here. We found that, used in conjunction with normally ineffective antimycotic drugs, mycolases were successful against systemic fungal disease in mice.
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About this article
Isolation and Characterization of the ALP1 Protease from Aspergillus fumigatus and Its Protein Inhibitor from Physarium polycephalum
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Mycolase II: an enzyme antifungal agent interacts with the polyene antibiotic pimaricin in the treatment of keratomycosis
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