Box 33 Immune Modulators and Fungal Infections

The immune system is powerful, and sometimes it goes astray. For example, rheumatoid arthritis, a painful swelling of joints, involves the excessive action of tumor necrosis factor-a an important protein component of the immune system. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as corticosteroids, relieve the symptoms of arthritis. But they also weaken the defense against fungi. Because the current medicines never actually cure arthritis, they must be taken for life. That makes fungal infection a constant threat.

mRNA, it prevents synthesis of proteins by fungal ribosomes. In addition, enzymes in fungal cells chemically modify flucytosine, causing the drug to inhibit another enzyme (thymidylate synthetase) that is essential for DNA synthesis. Unfortunately, resistance emerges readily. Consequently, flucytosine has limited utility.

Fungal infections range from being a nuisance to being life threatening. A variety of skin infections, such as ringworm, athlete's foot, and jock itch are caused by fungi. Skin infections are often controlled by topical creams containing tolnaftate, an inhibitor of ergosterol synthesis. Tolnaftate and related compounds are generally ineffective against fungal infections that grow under the nails of toes and fingers, because nails serve as tough barriers to drug entry. However, nail infections can be treated with another compound, griseofulvin, which is administered systemically. Many months of treatment are required to permit the nails to grow out fungus-free. Among the side effects of griseofulvin treatment are liver problems; consequently, liver function is usually monitored during treatment.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

Thank you for deciding to learn more about the disorder, Osteoarthritis. Inside these pages, you will learn what it is, who is most at risk for developing it, what causes it, and some treatment plans to help those that do have it feel better. While there is no definitive “cure” for Osteoarthritis, there are ways in which individuals can improve their quality of life and change the discomfort level to one that can be tolerated on a daily basis.

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