A recently characterized fungal pathogen, Emydomyces testavorans, has been associated with ulcerative shell disease and significant morbidity in Western pond turtles. Voriconazole is a second-generation triazole antifungal medication that prevents fungal growth through disruption of ergosterol synthesis, causing abnormalities in the fungal cell membrane. Preliminary reports of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) indicate that voriconazole is effective in vitro against E. testavorans. Ultraperformance liquid chromatography was used to measure voriconazole plasma concentrations in blood samples from healthy Western pond turtles after administration of a single SC injection of 10 mg/kg and after multiple doses (10 mg/kg SC q48h for seven doses). The data were analyzed using a naïve pooled approach. Mean (SE) observed time to maximum concentration was 2 (0.18) h for a single dose and 50 (2.2) h for multiple doses; the multiple-dose trial observed mean (SE) maximum concentration was 12.4 (2.2) lg/ml, and observed mean (SE) trough concentration was 1.7 (0.7) lg/ml. Multifocal skin sloughing following the single-dose trial was observed in one turtle and there was a significant increase in polychromatophilic cells amongst the study turtles after the multiple-dose voriconazole trial. No other adverse effects were observed. When voriconazole was administered at 10 mg/kg SC q48h, observed trough plasma concentrations were consistently higher than reported E. testavorans MIC concentrations. Further study is needed to determine the clinical safety and in vivo efficacy of this dose in Western pond turtles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology