Detection of Cross-Resistance Between Methotrexate and Azoles in Candida albicans and Meyerozyma guilliermondii: An In Vitro Study

Filip Franciszek Karuga, Katarzyna Góralska, Ewa Brzeziańska-Lasota


In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the incidence of Candida infections. The different species of the genus Candida vary in their virulence abilities and susceptibility to antifungal agents, depending on several external factors. The result of such modifications may be cross-resistance, which is understood as an acquired resistance to a certain antimicrobial agent after exposure to another drug. The aim of this study was to determine the possibility of cross-resistance between fluconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, and methotrexate in Candida albicans and Meyerozyma guilliermondii (syn. Candida guilliermondii). Fifteen strains of M. guilliermondii and eight strains of C. albicans, including the standard strains, were tested. For all strains, the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for fluconazole, voriconazole, and itraconazole were determined before and after stimulation with methotrexate. The median MICs in M. guilliermondii before and after stimulation were 9.333 and 64 mg/L (p = 0.005) for fluconazole; 0.917 and 1.667 mg/L (p = 0.001) for itraconazole, respectively. No significant change in MIC was observed for voriconazole. For C. albicans strains, the median MICs before and after stimulation were 0.917 and 64 mg/L (p = 0.012) for fluconazole; 0.344 and 1.135 mg/L (p = 0.018) for voriconazole, respectively. There was no significant change in MIC values for itraconazole. Thus, this study demonstrates the presence of cross-resistance between voriconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, and methotrexate for the selected strains. Methotrexate exposure induces different responses when certain drugs are used for various species. Therefore, if a patient was previously exposed to methotrexate, there may be a higher risk of treatment failure with fluconazole than with other azoles such as voriconazole for fungemia caused by M. guilliermondii or itraconazole for C. albicans infection.


antifungal treatment; drug resistance; fluconazole; inhibitor

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