2016-060 – A Method of Treating and Preventing Fungal Infection

Background

Bloodstream infections affect many patients in the United States, with more than 250,000 cases reported each year. Patients with indwelling medical devices, such as central venous catheters (CVCs), have the highest risk for infection. Due to unsterile conditions, various microorganisms from the skin of the patient or healthcare professional frequently gain access through the catheter wound. Of these resulting bloodstream infections, the Candida species accounts for 9% of all bloodstream infections and are associated with a mortality rate of approximately 40%. Candida albicans is the most commonly isolated fungal pathogen from bloodstream infections, but the prevalence of other species, such as C. parapsilosis, C. glabrata, and C. tropicalis, are rapidly increasing.

Various antimicrobial approaches have been devised to prevent catheter infections, but their clinical effectiveness remains questionable. Other treatments, including the use of silver-impregnated subcutaneous collagen cuffs, have also failed to be effective in recent trials. CVC contamination generally requires removal and replacement of the device in addition to a prolonged course of antifungal drug therapy. This raises concerns regarding drug toxicity and development of antifungal resistance. Due to the high morbidity rate of catheter-related Candida infections, strategies for preventing medical device contamination by fungal pathogens remains a top priority for infection control.

Technology Description

Researchers at the University of New Mexico have developed a therapeutic concept which explores a new dimension in treating Candidiasis and other fungal infections. Relieving immune evasion with this therapeutic will bring existing host defense mechanisms to maximally bear on the eradication of the pathogen. In combination with existing antimycotic drugs (i.e. azole, echinocandin), this therapeutic increases the effectiveness and useful lifetime of first line drugs in the face of intrinsic and acquired resistance. To achieve this result the therapeutic at least partially unmasks theβ-glucan to increase immunogenicity of the fungus.

Advantages

  • Offers treatment of common fungal infectious diseases
  • Preventing and/or reduces fungal infections on or in a device
  • Clinical applications in preventing and treating microbial contamination of medical devices of many types

Potential Applications

  • Decontamination
  • Medical Devices
  • Fungal Infection Treatment

Contact Information

Name: Gregg Banninger

Email: GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu

Phone: 505-272-7908