Antifungal Agents


Antifungal agents are used to treat fungal infections ranging in severity from superficial to life‐threatening. Current agents available to treat serious, invasive fungal infections are effective but have limitations. New classes are being developed to improve treatment options for patients with infections refractory to current therapies.

Keywords: amphotericin B; fluconazole; ketoconazole; mycoses; candidiasis

Figure 1.


Figure 10.

Candins: (a) caspofungin; (b) VER‐002; (c) FK463.

Figure 11.


Figure 12.

Chronology of discovery of fungal agents. ABCD, amphotericin B colloidal dispersion; ABLC, amphotericin B lipid complex; 5‐FC, 5‐fluorouracil; L‐AmB, liposomal amphotericin B; NCCLS, National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards.

Figure 2.


Figure 3.

Nikkomycin Z.

Figure 4.


Figure 5.

Polyenes: (a) amphotericin B; (b) nystatin.

Figure 6.

Imidazoles: (a) clotrimazole; (b) miconazole; (c) ketoconazole.

Figure 7.

Trizoles: (a) fluconazole; (b) itraconazole.

Figure 8.

Investigational azoles: (a) voriconazole; (b) ravuconazole; (c) posaconazole.

Figure 9.

Allylamines: (a) naftifine; (b) terbinafine.



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Further Reading

Arikan S and Rex JH (2000) New agents for treatment of systemic fungal infections. Emerging Drugs 5: 135–160.

Denning DW (1997) Echinocandins and pneumocandins: a new antifungal class with a novel mode of action. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 40: 611–614.

Georgopapadakou NH (1998) Antifungals: mechanism of action and resistance, established and novel drugs. Current Opinion in Microbiology 1: 547–557.

Ghannoum MA and Rice LB (1999) Antifungal agents: mode of action, mechanisms of resistance, and correlation of these mechanisms with bacterial resistance. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 12: 501–517.

National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (1997) Reference Method for Broth Dilution Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of Yeasts. M27‐A. Villanova, PA: NCCLS.

Rex JH, Pfaller MA, Rinaldi MG, Polak A and Galgiani JN (1993) Antifungal susceptibility testing. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 6: 367–381.

Sheehan DJ, Hitchcock CA and Sibley CM (1999) Current and emerging azole antifungal agents. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 12: 40–79.

Van Bambeke F, Balzi E and Tulkens PM (2000) Antibiotic efflux pumps. Biochemical Pharmacology 60: 457–470.

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How to Cite close
Fostel, Jennifer M(Apr 2001) Antifungal Agents. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000345]