In vitro efficacy of lufenuron against filamentous fungi and blood concentrations after PO administration in horses

Nicole C. Scotty, Tim J. Evans, Elizabeth Giuliano, Philip J. Johnson, George E. Rottinghaus, Annette W. Fothergill, Tim J. Cutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Lufenuron is a benzoylphenyl urea-derived insecticide that has been recently introduced as a novel treatment for fungal infections in horses. The purposes of this study were to determine (1) the in vitro efficacy of lufenuron against Aspergillus and Fusarium spp. and (2) the ability of lufenuron to reach efficacious blood concentrations after PO administration in horses. Fungal colonies isolated from diseased equine corneas were tested against lufenuron solutions up to 700 μg/mL. Twenty-one adult horses received 1 of 3 PO lufenuron treatment regimens: 5 mg/kg body weight (BW) q24h for 3 days, 20 mg/kg BW q24h for 3 days, or 60 mg/ kg BW q24h for 1 day. Blood samples were collected up to 96 hours after drug administration and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Statistical analyses of lufenuron blood concentrations were performed by analysis of variance and Fischer's Least Significant Difference test, with statistical significance set at P < .05. Lufenuron showed no effect on the in vitro growth of Aspergillus or Fusarium spp. Lufenuron was detected in the blood of all but 1 horse and showed no adverse effects. The maximum blood lufenuron concentration (83.5 ± 58.7 μg/L) was lower than the concentrations proven to be ineffective in vitro in this study. Further therapeutic use of lufenuron as an antifungal agent in horses should be based on proven efficacy against specific strains of clinically relevant fungi with pharmacokinetic data demonstrating sufficient lufenuron concentrations in target tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-882
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Antifungal
  • Aspergillus
  • Endometritis
  • Equine
  • Fusarium
  • Keratitis
  • Sinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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