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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2010 Jan;35(1):39-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2009.08.011. Epub 2009 Oct 7.

Rifampicin combined regimens for gram-negative infections: data from the literature.

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2nd Infectious Diseases Division, National Institute for Infectious Diseases 'L. Spallanzani', Via Portuense, 292-00149 Rome, Italy.


Multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative bacterial infections are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Given the lack of availability of new highly effective antimicrobial drugs against multiresistant strains, combination regimens are administered that include rifampicin for its demonstrated in vitro synergism with multiple drugs. A literature review was performed of clinical studies reporting the use of rifampicin in the treatment of MDR gram-negative bacterial infections. Nineteen studies were found, including only one randomised controlled study. Data in the literature on combined therapeutic regimens with rifampicin are limited and refer mostly to uncontrolled studies. Therefore, the real clinical benefit of using rifampicin-containing therapies for the treatment of gram-negative multiresistant bacteria in terms of clinical outcome and survival rates still needs to be assessed.

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