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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Feb;29(2):127-42. doi: 10.1007/s10096-009-0833-2. Epub 2009 Nov 14.

Fosfomycin: an old, new friend?

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Department of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Fosfomycin (FOM) is an antibiotic which has varying application indications across the globe. European, Japanese, South African and Brazilian usage practices are much broader, involving multiple formulations of FOM than the currently limited application of FOM in the United States, where uncomplicated urinary tract infection represents the only indication for FOM-tromethamine. Based on early difficulty in determining FOMs genuine in vitro activity, there was initial skepticism about its efficacy and application range. However, in the mid 1970s, correctly executed experiments coupled with an improved understanding of microbiological concepts opened the door for broader use of FOM. During the following 40 years FOM was evaluated in pre-clinical and clinical trials in a wide range of applications and in a multitude of settings. The gathering of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data was incorporated into large scale studies in which FOM efficacy was further explored and proven. Among European nations, intravenous FOM-disodium for patients presenting with soft tissue infections, sepsis or deep seated infectious processes has become well accepted over the last two decades. The recent emergence of bacterial strains, which impede and encumber pharmacotherapy, namely, MRSA, ESBL and MSSA, lends itself to the idea of reviving long-standing, sensibly used antimicrobial agents like FOM. This review provides a comprehensive conspectus on FOM's history, mode of action, tissue penetration characteristics, resistance, antibacterial activity, combination partners and clinical uses among other facets of interest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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