Interferon-gamma as adjunctive immunotherapy for invasive fungal infections: a case series
- Equal contributors
1 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Experimental Internal Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2 Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
3 Department of Anaesthesiology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
4 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Laboratory of Hematology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
5 Joint Unit « Sepsis » Hospices Civils de Lyon–bioMérieux, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Lyon, France
6 Department of Internal Medicine (463), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:166 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-166Published: 26 March 2014
Invasive fungal infections are very severe infections associated with high mortality rates, despite the availability of new classes of antifungal agents. Based on pathophysiological mechanisms and limited pre-clinical and clinical data, adjunctive immune-stimulatory therapy with interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) may represent a promising candidate to improve outcome of invasive fungal infections by enhancing host defence mechanisms.
In this open-label, prospective case series, we describe eight patients with invasive Candida and/or Aspergillus infections who were treated with recombinant IFN-γ (rIFN-γ, 100 μg s.c., thrice a week) for 2 weeks in addition to standard antifungal therapy.
Recombinant IFN-γ treatment in patients with invasive Candida and/or Aspergillus infections partially restored immune function, as characterized by an increased HLA-DR expression in those patients with a baseline expression below 50%, and an enhanced capacity of leukocytes from treated patients to produce proinflammatory cytokines involved in antifungal defence.
The present study provides evidence that adjunctive immunotherapy with IFN-γ can restore immune function in fungal sepsis patients, warranting future clinical studies to assess its potential clinical benefit.
ClinicalTrials.gov - NCT01270490