Echinocandins - a breakthrough in antifungal therapy?

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The increase in life-threatening opportunistic and pathogenic fungal infections has spurred the search for new targets of antifungal attack. A promising new approach focuses on the complex polysaccharide cell wall of fungi. In this respect, a class of agents known as the echinocandins are showing considerable promise, particularly the 2nd generation agents which have improved aqueous solubility and a broader spectrum of activity. Progress with these agents was reported at the 33rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy held in New Orleans, US, and the International Summit on Cutaneous Antifungal Therapy in San Francisco, US, last month.

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