In Vitro Activity of Calcium Channel Blockers in Combination with Conventional Antifungal Agents Against Clinically Important Filamentous Fungi


Despite the current therapeutic options, filamentous fungal infections are associated with high mortality rate especially in immunocompromised patients. In order to find a new potential therapeutic approach, the in vitro inhibitory effect of two antiarrhythmic agents, diltiazem and verapamil hydrochloride were tested against different clinical isolates of ascomycetous and mucoralean filamentous fungi. The in vitro combinations of these non-antifungal drugs with azole and polyene antifungal agents were also examined. Susceptibility tests were carried out using the broth microdilution method according to the instructions of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute document M38-A2. Checkerboard microdilution assay was used to assess the interactions between antifungal and non-antifungal drugs. Compared to antifungal agents, diltiazem and verapamil hydrochloride exerted a relatively low antifungal activity with high minimal inhibitory concentration values (853–2731 μg/ml). Although in combination they could increase the antifungal activity of amphotericin B, itraconazole and voriconazole. Indifferent and synergistic interactions were registered in 33 and 17 cases, respectively. Antagonistic interactions were not revealed between the investigated compounds. However, the observed high MICs suggest that these agents could not be considered as alternative systemic antifungal agents.


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Correspondence to László Galgóczy.

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Homa, M., Hegedűs, K., Fülöp, Á. et al. In Vitro Activity of Calcium Channel Blockers in Combination with Conventional Antifungal Agents Against Clinically Important Filamentous Fungi. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 68, 334–344 (2017).

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  • Diltiazem hydrochloride
  • verapamil hydrochloride
  • antifungal activity
  • drug combinations
  • synergistic interaction