The therapeutic efficacy of long-circulating polyethylene glycol-coated liposomal amphotericin B (AMB) (PEG-AMB-LIP) was compared with that of AMB desoxycholate (Fungizone) in a model of severe invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in persistently leukopenic rats as well as in temporarily leukopenic rats. PEG-AMB-LIP treatment (intravenous administration) consisted of a single, or double (every 72 h), or triple (every 72 h) dose of 10 mg of AMB/kg of body weight, a double dose (every 72 h) of 14 mg of AMB/kg, or a 5-day treatment (every 24 h) with 6 mg/kg/dose. AMB desoxycholate was administered for 10 consecutive days at 1 mg of AMB/kg/dose. Treatment was started 30 h after fungal inoculation, at which time mycelial growth was firmly established. Both persistently and temporarily leukopenic rats died between 4 and 9 days after Aspergillus fumigatus inoculation when they were left untreated or after treatment with a placebo. In persistently leukopenic rats, a single dose of PEG-AMB-LIP (10 mg/kg) was as effective as the 10-day treatment with AMB desoxycholate (at 1 mg/kg/dose) in significantly prolonging the survival of rats infected with A. fumigatus and in reducing the dissemination of A. fumigatus to the liver. Prolongation of PEG-AMB-LIP treatment (double or triple dose or 5-day treatment) did not further improve efficacy. For temporarily leukopenic rats no major advances in efficacy were achieved compared to those for persistently leukopenic rats, probably because the leukocyte numbers in blood were restored too late in the course of infection.

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Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam