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Drugs. 1999;58 Suppl 2:65-70.

Effect of quinolones on intestinal ecology.

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Department of Immunology, Microbiology, Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Quinolones have a selective effect on the normal human intestinal microflora. Published data on 13 different quinolone agents [ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, pefloxacin, lomefloxacin, levofloxacin, sparfloxacin, rufloxacin, sitafloxacin (DU-6859a), gatifloxacin, trovafloxacin and moxifloxacin] show that gram-negative aerobic bacteria, especially Enterobacteriaceae, are strongly suppressed or eliminated during therapy. Gram-positive aerobic cocci are affected strongly by administration of sitafloxacin and moxifloxacin and to minor degrees by the other quinolones. Three new quinolones--gatifloxacin, trovafloxacin and moxifloxacin--are very active against anaerobic bacteria in vitro but have minor effects on the anaerobic intestinal human microflora. Similar findings have been reported for the other 10 quinolones. Thus, the quinolone antibacterials have an ecological impact on the human intestinal microflora, mainly on the enterobacteria, that should be taken into account when these agents are used for prophylaxis or treatment of gastrointestinal bacterial infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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