Novel triazole antifungal agents

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2000 Mar;9(3):593-605. doi: 10.1517/13543784.9.3.593.


The risk of opportunistic infections is greatly increased in patients who are immunocompromised due to AIDS, cancer chemotherapy and organ or bone marrow transplantation. Candida albicans is often associated with serious systemic fungal infections, however other Candida species such as Candida krusei, Candida tropicalis and Candida glabrata, as well as Cryptococcus neoformans and filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus, have also emerged as clinically significant fungal pathogens. Two triazole antifungal agents, fluconazole and itraconazole, were introduced over a decade ago and since then have been used extensively for the prophylaxis and treatment of a variety of fungal infections. Although both drugs are effective and have their place in therapy, limitations regarding the utility of these agents do exist. For example, fluconazole is not effective for the prophylaxis or treatment of Aspergillus species and has limited activity against C. krusei and C. glabrata. The use of itraconazole has been limited secondary to concerns regarding unpredictable bioavailability. The rising incidence of fungal infections and the reported increase of non-albicans candidal infections noted over the past two decades highlight the need for new antifungal agents with improved spectra of activity. Several new triazole agents are in various phases of preclinical and clinical trials and may be available for human use in the near future. Three such agents voriconazole, posaconazole and ravuconazole are reviewed and compared with existing agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy
  • Cryptococcosis / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Mycoses / drug therapy*
  • Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy*
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Triazoles