Potential Strategies to Control the Risk of Antifungal Resistance in Humans: A Comprehensive Review

Antibiotics (Basel). 2023 Mar 18;12(3):608. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics12030608.


Fungal infections are becoming one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in people with weakened immune systems. Mycoses are becoming more common, despite greater knowledge and better treatment methods, due to the regular emergence of resistance to the antifungal medications used in clinical settings. Antifungal therapy is the mainstay of patient management for acute and chronic mycoses. However, the limited availability of antifungal drug classes limits the range of available treatments. Additionally, several drawbacks to treating mycoses include unfavourable side effects, a limited activity spectrum, a paucity of targets, and fungal resistance, all of which continue to be significant issues in developing antifungal drugs. The emergence of antifungal drug resistance has eliminated accessible drug classes as treatment choices, which significantly compromises the clinical management of fungal illnesses. In some situations, the emergence of strains resistant to many antifungal medications is a major concern. Although new medications have been developed to address this issue, antifungal drug resistance has grown more pronounced, particularly in patients who need long-term care or are undergoing antifungal prophylaxis. Moreover, the mechanisms that cause resistance must be well understood, including modifications in drug target affinities and abundances, along with biofilms and efflux pumps that diminish intracellular drug levels, to find novel antifungal drugs and drug targets. In this review, different classes of antifungal agents, and their resistance mechanisms, have been discussed. The latter part of the review focuses on the strategies by which we can overcome this serious issue of antifungal resistance in humans.

Keywords: antifungal; antifungal resistance; fungal infections; fungal treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.