Aerosolized nanostructured itraconazole as prophylaxis against invasive pulmonary aspergillosis

Carlos A. Alvarez, Nathan P. Wiederhold, Jason T. McConville, Jay I. Peters, Laura K. Najvar, John R. Graybill, Jacqueline J. Coalson, Robert L. Talbert, David S. Burgess, Rosie Bocanegra, Keith P. Johnston, Robert O. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective: Prophylactic strategies against invasive pulmonary aspergillosis are often limited by drug interactions and toxicities. Targeted airway delivery of antifungals to the lungs may avoid these pitfalls. We evaluated the effectiveness of an aerosolized nanostructured formulation of itraconazole produced by spray freezing into liquid (SFL) as prophylaxis against invasive pulmonary aspergillosis caused by A. fumigatus. Methods: Immunocompromised Balb/C mice received either itraconazole by oral gavage (Sporanox Oral Liquid [SOL] 30 mg/kg TID) or by aerosolization (SFL 30 mg/kg via 20 min aerosolizations, or control, BID). Dosing began 2 days prior to pulmonary inoculation with A. fumigatus and continued for 7 days post-inoculation. Changes in lung histopathology were also assessed. In the survival arm, mice were monitored over a 5 day period following discontinuation of therapy and survival was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: SFL survival (35%) was greater compared to control (10%; p = 0.03) and SOL (0%; p = 0.02). Histopathology demonstrated severe invasive disease involving vessels and small airways in control and SOL animals. SFL animals demonstrated colonization with some invasion predominately of large airways. Conclusions: Prophylactic aerosolization of nanostructured SFL significantly improved survival and limited invasive disease of small airways due to A. fumigatus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support provided in part by the San Antonio Area Foundation (to N.P.W.) and The Dow Chemical Company (to R.O.W.).


  • Invasive aspergillosis
  • Itraconazole
  • Prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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