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Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 66(10): e0068122, 2022 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053110


Platelets are currently thought to harbor antimicrobial functions and might therefore play a crucial role in infections, e.g., those caused by Aspergillus or mucormycetes. The incidence of invasive fungal infections is increasing, particularly during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and such infections continue to be life-threatening in immunocompromised patients. For this reason, the interaction of antimycotics with platelets is a key issue to evaluate modern therapeutic regimens. Amphotericin B (AmB) is widely used for the therapy of invasive fungal infections either as deoxycholate (AmB-D) or as a liposomal formulation (L-AmB). We showed that AmB strongly activates platelets within a few minutes. AmB concentrations commonly measured in the blood of patients were sufficient to stimulate platelets, indicating that this effect is highly relevant in vivo. The stimulating effect was corroborated by a broad spectrum of platelet activation parameters, including degranulation, aggregation, budding of microparticles, morphological changes, and enhanced adherence to fungal hyphae. Comparison between the deoxycholate and the liposomal formulation excluded the possibility that the liposomal part of L-Amb is responsible for these effects, as no difference was visible. The induction of platelet activation and alteration by L-AmB resulted in the activation of other parts of innate immunity, such as stimulation of the complement cascade and interaction with granulocytes. These mechanisms might substantially fuel the antifungal immune reaction in invasive mycoses. On the other hand, thrombosis and excessive inflammatory processes might occur via these mechanisms. Furthermore, the viability of L-AmB-activated platelets was consequently decreased, a process that might contribute to thrombocytopenia in patients.

COVID-19 , Invasive Fungal Infections , Mycoses , Humans , Amphotericin B/pharmacology , Amphotericin B/therapeutic use , Antifungal Agents/pharmacology , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , Mycoses/drug therapy , Fibrinolytic Agents , Aspergillus , Invasive Fungal Infections/drug therapy , Liposomes/therapeutic use , Deoxycholic Acid/pharmacology , Deoxycholic Acid/therapeutic use
Mycoses ; 64(8): 798-808, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085281


Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a common complication of severe viral pneumonia, such as influenza and COVID-19, that requires critical care including ventilatory support, use of corticosteroids and other adjunctive therapies to arrest the attendant massive airways inflammation. Although recommended for the treatment of viral pneumonia, steroid therapy appears to be a double-edged sword, predisposing patients to secondary bacterial and invasive fungal infections (IFIs) whereby impacting morbidity and mortality. Mucormycosis is a fungal emergency with a highly aggressive tendency for contiguous spread, associated with a poor prognosis if not promptly diagnosed and managed. Classically, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus (DM) and other immunosuppressive conditions including corticosteroid therapy are known risk factors for mucormycosis. Upon the background lung pathology, immune dysfunction and corticosteroid therapy, patients with severe viral pneumonia are likely to develop IFIs like aspergillosis and mucormycosis. Notably, the combination of steroid therapy and DM can augment immunosuppression and hyperglycaemia, increasing the risk of mucormycosis in a susceptible individual. Here, we report a case of sinonasal mucormycosis in a 44-year-old woman with hyperglycaemia secondary to poorly controlled diabetes following dexamethasone therapy on a background of influenza pneumonia and review 15 available literatures on reported cases of influenza and COVID-19 associated mucormycosis.

Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Influenza, Human/complications , Mucormycosis/drug therapy , Mucormycosis/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Adult , Amphotericin B/therapeutic use , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , Diabetes Complications , Female , Humans , Liposomes/therapeutic use , Triazoles/therapeutic use