Publication Date



Journal of Fungi


Combination antifungal therapy is widely used but not well understood. We analyzed the spectrophotometric readings from a multicenter study conducted by the New York State Department of Health to further characterize the in vitro interactions of the major classes of antifungal agents against Candida spp. Loewe additivity-based fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICi) analysis and Bliss independence-based response surface (BIRS) analysis were used to analyze two-drug inter- and intraclass combinations of triazoles (AZO) (voriconazole, posaconazole), echinocandins (ECH) (caspofungin, micafungin, anidulafungin), and a polyene (amphotericin B) against Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis, and C. glabrata. Although mean FIC indices did not differ statistically significantly from the additivity range of 0.5−4, indicating no significant pharmacodynamic interactions for all of the strain−combinations tested, BIRS analysis showed that significant pharmacodynamic interactions with the sum of percentages of interactions determined with this analysis were strongly associated with the FIC indices (Χ2 646, p < 0.0001). Using a narrower additivity range of 1−2 FIC index analysis, statistically significant pharmacodynamic interactions were also found with FICi and were in agreement with those found with BIRS analysis. All ECH+AB combinations were found to be synergistic against all Candida strains except C. glabrata. For the AZO+AB combinations, synergy was found mostly with the POS+AB combination. All AZO+ECH combinations except POS+CAS were synergistic against all Candida strains although with variable magnitude; significant antagonism was found for the POS+MIF combination against C. albicans. The AZO+AZO combination was additive for all strains except for a C. parapsilosis strain for which antagonism was also observed. The ECH+ECH combinations were synergistic for all Candida strains except C. glabrata for which they were additive; no antagonism was found.


pharmacodynamic interactions, Loewe additivity, Bliss independence, synergy, antagonism, Candida, antifungal drugs



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