Magical Metal? Searching For Solutions To Equine Antifungal Resistance - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Magical Metal? Searching For Solutions To Equine Antifungal Resistance

Fungal infections, like their bacterial counterparts, are rapidly becoming resistant to the majority of antifungal medications. Metal-containing compounds are currently being investigated for their potential as antifungal drugs, but they must overcome their negative reputation first.

The Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery (CO-ADD) has been founded to encourage the development of new antifungal and antibacterial compounds that may solve the resistance conundrum and keep people – and horses—healthy. Based at the University of Queensland in Australia, the organization allows chemists from around the world the opportunity to test any chemical compound against bacteria and fungi at no cost.

Dr. Angelo Frei, with the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Bern, found that 21 specific metal compounds showed activity against multiple resistant fungal strains. The metals included cobalt, nickel, rhodium, palladium, silver, europium, iridium, platinum, molybdenum, and gold.

Metals have a negative reputation in human medicine, despite their use in many treatments, including in Cisplatin, a widely used anti-cancer drug. 

The most active metal compounds were then tested on the larvae of a wax moth. Just one of the 11 metal compounds tested showed signs of toxicity to the larvae. The next phase of the trial showed that one compound was effective in reducing a fungal infection in larvae, making its possible use as an antifungal one step closer to fruition.

Frei hopes that the work done at CO-ADD will help broaden the search for new antifungal and antimicrobials, encouraging scientists and research groups to investigate the use of metals in medical applications.

Read more here.

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