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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1999 Aug;44(2):251-61.

The efficacy and safety of quinupristin/dalfopristin for the treatment of infections caused by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. Synercid Emergency-Use Study Group.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


A progressive increase in the incidence of vancomycin resistance in strains of Enterococcus faecium (VREF) has severely constrained treatment options for patients with infection caused by this emerging pathogen. Quinupristin/dalfopristin (Synercid), the first injectable streptogramin antibiotic, is active in vitro against VREF, with an MIC90 of 1.0 mg/L. We studied the clinical efficacy and safety of quinupristin/dalfopristin in the treatment of VREF infection. Two prospective studies were conducted simultaneously. The first enrolled only patients with VREF infection; the second included patients with infection caused by other gram-positive bacterial pathogens in addition to VREF. Patients were enrolled if they had signs and symptoms of active infection and no appropriate alternative antibiotic therapy. The recommended treatment regimen of quinupristin/dalfopristin was 7.5 mg/kg i.v. every 8 h for a duration judged appropriate by the investigator. A total of 396 patients with VREF infection were enrolled. The most frequent indications for treatment included intra-abdominal infection, bacteraemia of unknown origin, urinary tract infection, catheter-related bacteraemia, and skin and skin structure infection. This patient population had a high prevalence of severe underlying illness, including a history of diabetes mellitus, transplantation, mechanical ventilation, dialysis, chronic liver disease with cirrhosis and oncological disorders. The mean (+/- S.D.) duration of treatment was 14.5 +/- 10.7 days (range: 1-108). The majority of patients (82.1%) were treated every 8 h, as assessed on day 2 of treatment, while 15.9% were treated every 12 h. The clinical success rate was 73.6% [142/193 clinically evaluable patients; 95% confidence interval (CI): 67.4%, 79.8%], the bacteriological success rate 70.5% (110/156 bacteriologically evaluable patients; 95% CI: 63.4%, 77.7%) and the overall success (both clinical and bacteriological success) rate 65.8% (102/156 bacteriologically evaluable patients; 95% CI: 57.9%, 72.9%). VREF bacteraemia at entry, mechanical ventilation and laparotomy were associated with a worse outcome. Quinupristin/dalfopristin was generally well tolerated. The most common systemic adverse events related to treatment were arthralgias (9.1%) and myalgias (6.6%). Related laboratory abnormalities were infrequent. In these severely ill patients with VREF infection and no other clinically appropriate therapeutic alternatives, quinupristin/dalfopristin demonstrated substantial efficacy and a good nervous system, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, renal and hepatic tolerability.

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