We investigated a number of parameters for host defense after the in vitro addition of the antifungal agents ketoconazole, amphotericin B (AMB), and amphotericin B methyl ester (AME). Similar assays were repeated before and after patients received the former two drugs. Viability by trypan blue exclusion, adherence by nylon wool columns, chemotaxis by the under-agarose technique, phagocytosis and killing by chemiluminescence, colony counts, and acridine orange direct visualization were assayed. In striking contrast to AMB and AME, ketoconazole demonstrated no significant effect on neutrophils. Adherence in the presence of therapeutic plasma levels of AMB and AME was decreased (P less than or equal to 0.005) at low drug concentrations, whereas at higher concentrations, adherence was increased (P less than 0.001). The chemotactic responses of cells incubated with AMB and AME demonstrated marked suppression. Phagocytic capacity and killing were decreased (P less than or equal to 0.005) with AMB as compared with control assays and assays performed in the presence of ketoconazole and AME. However, no difference were observed between two patients who received AMB and two other treated with ketoconazole
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