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Lancet. 2001 Dec 8;358(9297):1975-82.

Oxazolidinone antibiotics.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Many common gram-positive pathogens (eg, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus spp, and Streptococcus pneumoniae) have become increasingly resistant to antimicrobial agents, and new drugs with activity against gram-positive bacteria are urgently needed. The oxazolidinones, a new chemical class of synthetic antimicrobial agent, have a unique mechanism of inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis. Linezolid, the first oxazolidinone to be approved for clinical use, displays in-vitro activity (generally bacteriostatic) against many important resistant pathogens, including meticillin-resistant Staph aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and penicillin-resistant Strep pneumoniae. Linezolid is a parenteral agent that also possesses near-complete oral bioavailability plus favourable pharmacokinetic and toxic effect profiles. Clinical trials confirm the activity of linezolid in the setting of pneumonia, skin and soft-tissue infections, and infections due to vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Linezolid shows promise as an alternative to glycopeptides and streptogramins to treat serious infections due to resistant gram-positive organisms. New agents with greater potency and new spectra of activity could arise from further modification of the oxazolidinone nucleus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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