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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2007 May;29(5):494-500. Epub 2007 Mar 7.

Antimicrobial treatment for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) infections including the role of the infectious disease specialist.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy.


Between 5 and 10% of patients admitted to acute care hospitals acquire one or more infections, and the risks have steadily increased during recent decades. Three types of infection account for more than 60% of all nosocomial infections: pneumonia, urinary tract infection and primary bloodstream infection, all of them associated with the use of medical devices. Nearly 70% of infections are due to micro-organisms resistant to one or more antibiotics (multidrug resistant or MDR). A higher incidence of inappropriate antibiotic therapy is expected when infections are caused by antibiotic-resistant micro-organisms and initial inappropriate empirical therapies, and the further need to modify them substantially increases the mortality risk. Despite new antibacterial agents such as linezolid, and also tigecycline and daptomycin, now being available for the treatment of infections due to MDR micro-organisms, the best strategy for improving the cure rate and minimising the development of resistance, probably remains the infectious disease specialist consultation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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