Effect of Aspergillus flavus on the Liver of Experimental Rats Administered with Antiretroviral Drugs

Theophilus K Udeani, Chukwugozie N Okwuosa, Ezinne U Adiele


Background: The aim of this study was to determine the association between antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and Aspergillus flavus in experimental rats.

Methods: Inbred albino Wister rats, aged18-21weeks; weighing 200-250g were used.  The experiment was carried out in two models, excluding antifungal drugs. In model 1; the rats were infected with Aspergillus flavus and treated with antiretroviral drugs; grouped into four of six rats each, based on their weights. Group A: Neat control while Groups B-D were administered with varying concentrations of Nevirapine, Zidovudine and Lamivudine, Zidovudine, Lamivudine and Nevirapine. In model 2, the animals were immunosuppressed with cyclophosphamide and then administered with ARV and A. flavus. In both models; pre and post inoculation blood samples were collected to assay for liver enzymes and the liver was harvested for histological assessment and recovery of A. flavus.

Results: In model1, pre-inoculation liver enzyme values showed no statistical increase between control group and experimental groups (P> 0.05) while the post-inoculation liver enzyme values were statistically significant (P<0.05) between control and experimental group, with increase in values of ALT, AST and ALP. In model 2 ALT and ALP were increased in both pre-and post-inoculation of experimental group, when compared with control. Histological evidence of liver damage was observed in both models.

Conclusions: The experimental administration of ARV drugs in rats may enhance the pathogenicity of opportunistic aspergillosis thereby impeding the metabolic functions of the liver.


Antiretroviral drugs; Aspergillus flavus; liver; Liver enzymes; Neutropenia.

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