Results of a recent Canadian study suggest that vitamin B3 may be an effective alternative treatment option for patients suffering from drug-resistant fungal infections.
Over the past decade fungal infections such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigates have become increasingly common in North America. These infections are extremely serious and can even be fatal for individuals with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients or organ transplant recipients.
Treating these conditions has become problematic for the medical community as many infections have mutated into drug-resistant strains.
Using an animal model, a research team from the Biotechnology Research Institute of the National Research Council Canada tested the effectiveness of alternative treatment options on Candida albicans.
They found that nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, reduced the severity of the infection and prevented its future growth. Principal investigator Martine Raymond and colleagues believe the findings suggest that the nutrient contains "broad antifungal properties" that can be used to treat many normal and drug-resistant infections.
"Although many issues remain to be investigated, the results of our study are very exciting and they constitute an important first step in the development of new therapeutic agents to treat fungal infections without major side effects for patients," said Raymond.