Recent approaches to antifungal therapy for invasive mycoses

ChemMedChem. 2009 Mar;4(3):310-23. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.200800353.


Invasive fungal infections with primary and opportunistic mycoses have become increasingly common in recent years and pose a major diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. They represent a major area of concern in today's medical fraternity. The occurrence of invasive fungal diseases, particularly in AIDS and other immunocompromised patients, is life-threatening and increases the economic burden. Apart from the previously known polyenes and imidazole-based azoles, newly discovered triazoles and echinocandins are more effective in terms of specificity, yet some immunosuppressed hosts are difficult to treat. The main reasons for this include antifungal resistance, toxicity, lack of rapid and microbe-specific diagnoses, poor penetration of drugs into sanctuary sites, and lack of oral or intravenous preparations. In addition to combination antifungal therapy, other novel antimycotic treatments such as calcineurin signaling pathway blockers and vaccines have recently emerged. This review briefly summarizes recent developments in the pharmacotherapeutic treatment of invasive fungal infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Azoles / chemistry
  • Azoles / pharmacology
  • Azoles / therapeutic use*
  • Calcineurin / metabolism
  • Echinocandins / chemistry
  • Echinocandins / pharmacology
  • Echinocandins / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Mycoses / drug therapy*
  • Mycoses / epidemiology
  • Mycoses / prevention & control*
  • Polyenes / chemistry
  • Polyenes / pharmacology
  • Polyenes / therapeutic use*
  • Vaccination


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Azoles
  • Echinocandins
  • Polyenes
  • Calcineurin