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Arch Surg. 1992 Jan;127(1):83-9; discussion 89.

Guidelines for clinical care: anti-infective agents for intra-abdominal infection. A Surgical Infection Society policy statement.

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University of Toronto, Ontario Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery.


Several antibiotics have been marketed for therapeutic use in intra-abdominal infection. Often, these agents do not provide a sufficient spectrum activity against both facultative and obligate anaerobic gram-negative organisms, or have certain toxic effects that would not otherwise support their use. Guidelines have been developed for selection of antibiotic therapy for intra-abdominal infections and are presented as a statement of the Surgical Infection Society endorsed by the Executive Council. These guidelines are restricted to infections derived from the gastrointestinal tract and deal with those microorganisms commonly seen in such infections. The recommendations are based on in vitro activity against enteric bacteria, experience in animal models, and documented efficacy in clinical trials. Other concerns regarding pharmacokinetics, mechanisms of action, microbial resistance, and safety were also used in the formation of these guidelines. For community-acquired infections of mild to moderate severity, single-agent therapy with cefoxitin, cefotetan, or cefmetazole or ticarcillin-clavulanic acid is recommended. For more severe infections, single-agent therapy with carbapenems (imipenem/cilastatin) or combination therapy with either a third-generation cephalosporin, a monobactam (aztreonam), or an aminoglycoside plus clindamycin or metronidazole is recommended. Regimens with little or no activity against facultative gram-negative rods or anaerobic gram-negative rods are not considered acceptable.

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