Synergistic activity of econazole-nitrate and chelerythrine against clinical isolates of Candida albicans

Document Type : Research article


1 College of Life Science and Technology, Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University, Daqing, Heilongjiang, China

2 Key Laboratory of Zoonosis Research, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China


The aim of this investigation was to assess the in vitro interaction of two antifungal agents, econazole-nitrate and chelerythrine, against ten fluconazole-resistant clinical isolates and one ATCC type strain 10231 of Candida albicans. The checkerboard microdilution method was performed according to the recommendations of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, and the results were determined by visual examination. The interaction intensity was tested in all isolates using the fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI). These experiments showed synergism between econazole-nitrate and chelerythrine in antifungal activity against C. albicans, and no antagonistic activity was observed in any of the strains tested. Moreover, time-kill curves were performed with selected strains to confirm the positive interactions. The similarity between the results of the FICI values and the time-kill curves revealed that chelerythrine greatly enhances the antifungal effects of econazole-nitrate against isolates of C. albicans. This synergistic effect may markedly reduce the dose of econazole-nitrate required to treat candidiasis, thereby decreasing the econazole-nitrate toxic side effects. This novel synergism might provide a potential combination treatment against fungal infections.


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