(antifungal antibiotic), any one of a group of antibiotics used against fungi. The group includes nystatin, levorin, trichomycin, amphotericin B, mikogeptin, and griseofulvin. Fungicidal antibiotics are amphoteric polyunsaturated compounds (griseofulvin is an exception); they are slightly soluble in water. Polyenes react with the sterols of the cytoplasmic membranes of the cells of parasitic fungi and disrupt the membranes’ permeability; as a result, the cells of parasitic fungi lose their water-soluble, low-molecular-weight substances and die. Griseofulvin’s mechanism of action has been insufficiently studied; it is assumed to be associated with the disruption of protein synthesis in the cells. Fungicidal antibiotics are used for prophylaxis and treatment of diseases caused by parasitic fungi—candidiasis of the mucous membranes, skin, and gastrointestinal tract (nystatin, levorin, and trichomycin) and generalized mycoses (amphotericin B, mikogeptin), as well as trichophytosis, microsporosis, epidermophytosis, favus, and onychomycosis (griseofulvin).
REFERENCENavashin, S. M., and I. P. Fomina. Spravochnik po antibiotikam, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1974.
L. E. GOL’DBERG