In vitro anti-Pythium insidiosum activity of amorolfine hydrochloride and azithromycin, alone and in combination

Med Mycol. 2021 Jan 4;59(1):67-73. doi: 10.1093/mmy/myaa032.


Pythium insidiosum infections have been widely studied in an attempt to develop an effective therapeutic protocol for the treatment of human and animal pythiosis. Several antifungal agents are still prescribed against this oomycete, although they present contradictory results. To evaluate the susceptibility profile and to verify the morphological alterations in P. insidiosum isolates treated with amorolfine hydrochloride and azithromycin, alone or in combination. Susceptibility tests for P. insidiosum isolates (n = 20) against amorolfine hydrochloride (AMR) and azithromycin (AZM) were performed according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institutes (CLSI) protocol M38-A2. Combinations of both drugs were evaluated using the checkerboard microdilution method. Additionally, transmission and scanning electron microscopy were performed in order to verify the morphological alterations in P. insidiosum isolates in response to these drugs. All P. insidiosum isolates had a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranging from 16 to 64 mg/l and 8 to 64 mg/l for amorolfine hydrochloride and azithromycin, respectively. Synergistic interactions between the drugs were not observed, with antagonism in 59.8% of isolates, and indifferent interactions in 36.2%. Electron microscopy showed changes in the surface of P. insidiosum hyphae, disorganization of intracellular organelles, and changes in the plasma membrane and cell wall of oomycetes treated with the drugs. This is the first study to demonstrate in vitro anti-P. insidiosum effect of amorolfine hydrochloride. These results indicate the therapeutic potential of this drug against cutaneous and subcutaneous forms of pythiosis, but further studies are necessary to confirm this potential.

Keywords: amorolfine; morphological alteration; oomycete; pythiosis; susceptibility.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Azithromycin / pharmacology*
  • Azithromycin / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / veterinary*
  • Morpholines / pharmacology*
  • Morpholines / therapeutic use
  • Pythiosis / drug therapy*
  • Pythium / drug effects*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Morpholines
  • Azithromycin
  • amorolfine