Liposomal amphotericin B in drug-resistant visceral leishmaniasis.
Davidson RN., Croft SL., Scott A., Maini M., Moody AH., Bryceson AD.
The treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) may be complicated by drug toxicity or intolerance, and by drug resistance. Amphotericin B (AmB) is effective, but its use is limited by toxicity: renal impairment, anaemia, fever, malaise, and hypokalaemia are common. Liposomes have been proposed as an effective way to target drugs at macrophages, which are the cells infected in visceral leishmaniasis. In animals AmB incorporated into liposomes is highly effective against experimental leishmaniasis, with low toxicity. This report is of the successful treatment of a patient with multiply drug-resistant visceral leishmaniasis with a commercially prepared formulation of liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) ('AmBisome', Vestar, San Dimas, California, USA). We also report, for comparison, a patient treated with conventional AmB, and preliminary studies in mice comparing the two agents.