DOI: 10.3390/jof9080810 ISSN: 2309-608X

A Critical Review on the Dosing and Safety of Antifungals Used in Exotic Avian and Reptile Species

Naresh Visvanathan, Jolise Yi An Lim, Hui Ting Chng, Shangzhe Xie
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Microbiology (medical)

Antifungals are used in exotic avian and reptile species for the treatment of fungal diseases. Dose extrapolations across species are common due to lack of species-specific pharmacological data. This may not be ideal because interspecies physiological differences may result in subtherapeutic dosing or toxicity. This critical review aims to collate existing pharmacological data to identify antifungals with the most evidence to support their safe and effective use. In the process, significant trends and gaps are also identified and discussed. An extensive search was conducted on PubMed and JSTOR, and relevant data were critically appraised. Itraconazole or voriconazole showed promising results in Japanese quails, racing pigeons and inland bearded dragons for the treatment of aspergillosis and CANV-related infections. Voriconazole neurotoxicity manifested as seizures in multiple penguins, but as lethargy or torticollis in cottonmouths. Itraconazole toxicity was predominantly hepatotoxicity, observed as liver abnormalities in inland bearded dragons and a Parson’s chameleon. Differences in formulations of itraconazole affected various absorption parameters. Non-linearities in voriconazole due to saturable metabolism and autoinduction showed opposing effects on clearance, especially in multiple-dosing regimens. These differences in pharmacokinetic parameters across species resulted in varying elimination half-lives. Terbinafine has been used in dermatomycoses, especially in reptiles, due to its keratinophilic nature, and no significant adverse events were observed. The use of fluconazole has declined due to resistance or its narrow spectrum of activity.

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