Annex B-Research Data

An antifungal medication is a pharmaceutical fungicide used to treat and prevent mycoses such as athlete's foot, ringworm, candidiasis (thrush), serious systemic infections such as cryptococcal meningitis, and others. Antifungal medicines work by either killing the fungal cells(for example, by affecting a substance in the cell walls, causing the contents of the fungal cells to leak out and the cells to die) or by preventing the fungal cells from growing and reproducing. (Thomas, R., & Barber, K.  February 2015)The types of antifungals include:

  • topical antifungals – a cream, gel, ointment or spray applied directly to the body 
  • oral antifungals – a capsule, tablet or liquid medicine that is swallowed 
  • intravenous antifungals 

For this experiment, we are only looking into two types of the topical anti fungal. The two types are azole and allyamine. Azole and allylamine both work by disrupting the fungus' ability to make ergosterol, which is a chemical compound important for the fungus to make a strong cell membrane. Without a strong cell membrane, the fungal cells could become leaky and die. Ergosterol is not in plant or animal cells, which makes it a good compound to target if you only want to kill the fungus without hurting infected plants or animals. So this is what the anti fungals target to affect/destroy in order to kill the fungus.
Azole antifungals are characterised by the ability to inhibit ergosterol synthesis in fungal membrane. The biosynthesis of ergosterol requires the enzyme lanosterol 14 a-demethylase. This enzyme is needed to convert lanosterol to ergosterol. Targeting this enzyme prevents ergosterol production. Thus, the fungal membrane structure is depleted of ergosterol and the fungus dies. the various types of azole classified drugs include imidazole, triazole and thiazole antifungals. Abledrugs are broad-spectrum drugs and treat fungal infections of the skin or the mouth. An example of an azole drug is Clomtriazole, commonly used to treat athlete's foot, ringworm, vaginal yeast infections and oral thrush.
This medication may cause burning, stinging or redness when first applied to the skin. As a general rule:
  • Antifungal creams, sprays, liquids and shampoos. These usually cause no side-effects and are easy to use. Occasionally some people get a little bit of itch, burning or redness where the antifungal preparation has been applied. If this is severe, you should stop using it. Occasionally, some women develop irritation around the vagina after applying vaginal antifungal products.
  • Antifungal medicines by mouth. The most widely used are terbinafine for nail infections, miconazole, and nystatin for oral thrush, and fluconazole for vaginal thrush. These usually cause no side-effects. You can even buy fluconazole without a prescription at pharmacies, as it is considered a medicine which is unlikely to cause problems. Some antifungal preparations cause liver problems or more serious side-effects in a small number of people. A few common possible side-effects of some of the more widely used antifungal medicines are as follows:

  • Terbinafine sometimes causes tummy aches, loss of appetite, feeling sick (nausea), tummy upsets, diarrhoea, headache, rash, taste disturbance and muscle or joint pains.
  • Fluconazole may cause nausea, tummy ache, diarrhoea, wind, headache, or a rash.
  • Miconazole may cause nausea or sickness (vomiting), or a rash.
  • Nystatin may cause soreness of the mouth.

  • Antifungal injections. These have more risk of causing side-effects and sometimes serious problems. However, these are used to treat serious fungal infections and the risk of side-effects needs to be balanced against the need for treatment.

Allylamine antifungals are characterized by the ability to inhibit fungal squalene metabolism. The biosynthesis of ergosterol requires an enzyme called squalene peroxidase. Squalene peroxidase is responsible for catalyzing the first step in ergosterol biosynthesis; inhibition of this enzyme results in disruption of ergosterol synthesis. The inhibition of squalene metabolism is toxic to the fungi because of the buildup of squalene and the inhibition of ergosterol synthesis. An example of an allylamine drug is Terbinafine, which is commonly used to treat fungal skin infections.(Thomas, R., & Barber, K.  February 2015)

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