Candida spp. is the major causative agent of fungal infections in hospitalized patients and the fourth most common cause of nosocomial bloodstream infection (BSI). The availability of standardized methods for testing the in vitro activity of antifungals along with the expanding of antifungal armamentarium, the rising of drug-resistance and the persistence of a high mortality rate in systemic candidiasis have led to an increased interest in combination therapy. Therefore, we aimed to review the scientific literature concerning the antifungal combinations against Candida. A literature search performed in PubMed yielded 92 studies published from 2000 to 2021: 29 articles referring to in vitro studies, six articles referring to either in vitro and in vivo (i.e., animal models) studies and 57 clinical articles. Pre-clinical studies involved 735 isolates of Candida species and 12 unique types of antifungal combination approaches including azoles plus echinocandins (19%), polyenes plus echinocandins (16%), polyenes plus azoles (13%), polyenes plus 5-flucytosine ([5-FC], 13%), azoles plus 5-FC (11%) and other types of combinations (28%). Results varied greatly, often being species-, drug- and methodology-dependent. Some combinatorial regimens exerted a synergistic effect against difficult-to-treat Candida species (i.e., azoles plus echinocandins; polyenes plus 5-FC) or they were more effective than monotherapy in prevent or reducing biofilm formation and in speeding the clearance of infected tissues (i.e., polyenes plus echinocandins). In 283 patients with documented Candida infections (>90% systemic candidiasis/BSI), an antifungal combination approach could be evaluated. Combinations included: azoles plus echinocandins (36%), 5-FC-combination therapies (24%), polyenes plus azoles (18%), polyenes plus echinocandins (16%) and other types of combination therapy (6%). Case reports describing combination therapies yielded favorable response in most cases, including difficult-to-treat fungal infections (i.e., endocarditis, osteoarticular infections, CNS infections) or difficult-to-treat fungal pathogens. The only randomized trial comparing amphotericin-B deoxycholate (AMB) plus FLU vs. AMB alone for treatment of BSI in nonneutropenic patients showed that the combination trended toward improved success and more-rapid clearance from the bloodstream. In summary, antifungal combinations against Candida have produced great interest in the past two decades. To establish whether this approach can become a reliable treatment option, additional in vitro and clinical data are warranted.
Antifungal Combinations against Candida Species: From Bench to Bedside / Fioriti, Simona; Brescini, Lucia; Pallotta, Francesco; Canovari, Benedetta; Morroni, Gianluca; Barchiesi, Francesco. - In: JOURNAL OF FUNGI. - ISSN 2309-608X. - ELETTRONICO. - 8:10(2022), p. 1077. [10.3390/jof8101077]