Antifungal and Antiparasitic Activity of Novel Metallocene-containing Fluconazole Derivatives

27 October 2023, Version 1


The search for new anti-infectives based on metal complexes is gaining momentum. Among the different options taken by researchers, the one involving the use of organometallic complexes is probably the most successful one with a compound, namely ferroquine, already in clinical trial against malaria. In this study, we describe the preparation and in-depth characterization of 10 new (organometallic) derivatives of the approved antifungal drug fluconazole. Our rationale is that the sterol 14α-demethylase is an enzyme part of the ergosterol biosynthesis route in Trypanosoma and is similar to the one in pathogenic fungi. To demonstrate our postulate, docking experiments to assess the binding of our compounds with the enzyme were also performed. Our compounds were then tested on a range of fungal strains and parasitic organisms, including the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) responsible for Chagas disease, an endemic disease in Latin America and ranked as the third most prevalent parasitic disease after malaria and schistosomiasis. Of high interest, the most two potent compounds of the study on T. cruzi that contain a ferrocene or cobaltocenium were found to be harmless for an invertebrate animal model, namely Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), without affecting motility, viability or development.


Antifungal Agents
Bioorganometallic Chemistry
Metals in Medicine
Chagas disease
Parasitic helminths
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)


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