Candida albicans is the 3rd most common cause of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, with a strong propensity to form drug-resistant catheter-related biofilms.
Due to the limited efficacy of available antifungals against biofilms, drug repurposing has been investigated in order to identify novel agents with activities against fungal biofilms. Finasteride is a 5-α-reductase inhibitor commonly used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, with activity against human type II and III isoenzymes. We analyzed the Candida Genome Database and identified a C. albicans homolog of type III 5-α-reductase, Dfg10p, which shares 27% sequence identity and 41% similarity to the human type III 5-α-reductase. Thus, we investigated finasteride for activity against C. albicans urinary biofilms, alone and in combination with amphotericin B or fluconazole. Finasteride alone was highly effective in the prevention of C. albicans biofilm formation at doses of ≥16 mg/liter and the treatment of preformed biofilms at doses of ≥128 mg/liter. In biofilm checkerboard analyses, finasteride exhibited synergistic activity in the prevention of biofilm formation in a combination of 4 mg/liter finasteride with 2 mg/liter fluconazole. Finasteride inhibited filamentation, thus suggesting a potential mechanism of action. These results indicate that finasteride alone is highly active in the prevention of C. albicans urinary biofilms in vitro and has synergistic activity in combination with fluconazole. Further investigation of the clinical utility of finasteride in the prevention of urinary candidiasis is warranted.
Chavez-Dozal AA, Lown L, Jahng M, Walraven CJ, Lee SA. Are you the author?
Section of Infectious Diseases, New Mexico Veterans Healthcare System, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; Division of Infectious Diseases, University of New Mexico Health Science Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; College of Pharmacy, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
Reference: Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Oct;58(10):5855-62.