1887

Abstract

Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) such as mucormycosis are causing devastating morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients as anti-fungal agents do not work in the setting of a suppressed immune system. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created a novel landscape for IFIs in post-pandemic patients, resulting from severe immune suppression caused by COVID-19 infection, comorbidities (diabetes, obesity) and immunosuppressive treatments such as steroids. The antigen–antibody interaction has been employed in radioimmunotherapy (RIT) to deliver lethal doses of ionizing radiation emitted by radionuclides to targeted cells and has demonstrated efficacy in several cancers. One of the advantages of RIT is its independence of the immune status of a host, which is crucial for immunosuppressed post-COVID-19 patients. In the present work we targeted the fungal pan-antigens 1,3-beta-glucan and melanin pigment, which are present in the majority of pathogenic fungi, with RIT, thus making such targeting pathogen-agnostic. We demonstrated in experimental murine mucormycosis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice that lutetium-177 (Lu)-labelled antibodies to these two antigens effectively decreased the fungal burden in major organs, including the brain. These results are encouraging because they show the effectiveness of pathogen-agnostic RIT in significantly decreasing fungal burden , while they can also potentially be applied to treat the broad range of invasive fungal infections that express the pan-antigens 1,3-beta-glucan or melanin.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Silvia Fedoruk Center for Nuclear Innovation, Canada
    • Principle Award Recipient: NotApplicable
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. This article was made open access via a Publish and Read agreement between the Microbiology Society and the corresponding author’s institution.
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/content/journal/acmi/10.1099/acmi.0.000671.v4
2023-12-06
2024-02-25
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