Vaginal infections are associated with high recurrence, which is often due to a lack of efficient treatment of complex vaginal infections comprised of several types of pathogens, especially fungi and bacteria. Chitosan, a mucoadhesive polymer with known antifungal effect, could offer a great improvement in vaginal therapy; the chitosan-based nanosystem could both provide antifungal effects and simultaneously deliver antibacterial drugs. We prepared chitosan-containing liposomes, chitosomes, where chitosan is both embedded in liposomes and surface-available as a coating layer. For antimicrobial activity, we entrapped metronidazole as a model drug. To prove that mucoadhesivness alone is not sufficient for successful delivery, we used Carbopol-containing liposomes as a control. All vesicles were characterized for their size, zeta potential, entrapment efficiency, and in vitro drug release. Chitosan-containing liposomes were able to assure the prolonged release of metronidazole. Their antifungal activity was evaluated in a C. albicans model; chitosan-containing liposomes exhibited a potent ability to inhibit the growth of C. albicans. The presence of chitosan was crucial for the system’s antifungal activity. The antifungal efficacy of chitosomes combined with antibacterial potential of the entrapped metronidazole could offer improved efficacy in the treatment of mixed/complex vaginal infections.
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