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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009 Mar;33(3):201-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2008.09.001. Epub 2008 Oct 30.

Do we still need the aminoglycosides?

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  • 1Unit of Infectious & Transplant Medicine, 2nd University of Naples, Monaldi Hospital, Naples, Italy.

Abstract

Since the introduction into clinical practice of the aminoglycoside class of antibiotics, a number of other antimicrobial agents with improved safety profile have entered the market. Studies have failed to demonstrate the superiority of aminoglycoside-containing regimens in a number of infection settings. This has raised doubts regarding the actual clinical utility of aminoglycosides. However, the recent emergence of infections due to Gram-negative bacterial strains with advanced patterns of antimicrobial resistance has prompted physicians to reconsider these 'old' antibacterial agents. This revived interest in the use of aminoglycosides has brought back to light the debate on the two major issues related to these compounds, namely the spectrum of antimicrobial susceptibility and toxicity. Although some of the aminoglycosides retain activity against the majority of Gram-negative clinical bacterial isolates in many parts of the world, the relatively frequent occurrence of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity during aminoglycoside treatment make physicians reluctant to use these compounds in everyday practice. We believe that recent advances in the understanding of the effect of various dosage schedules of aminoglycosides on toxicity combined with the retained (to a considerable degree) activity against the majority of Gram-negative bacterial isolates make this class of antibiotics still valuable in today's clinical practice.

PMID:
18976888
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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