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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2010 Dec;36 Suppl 2:S50-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2010.11.014. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria: how to treat and for how long.

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1
Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece. e.giamarellou@hygeia.gr

Abstract

The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacilli creates a big problem for the treatment of nosocomial infections. As the pharmaceutical pipeline wanes, the only therapeutic options are two revived antibacterials (colistin and fosfomycin), a newer one (tigecycline) and an early-phase neoglycoside (ACHN-490). Polymyxins, known since 1947, are mostly represented by polymyxin E (colistin), which has recently gained a principal position in the management of the most difficult-to-treat MDR Gram-negative pathogens -Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae. However, despite promising therapeutic results in 59-75% of cases, the reported studies share common drawbacks, i.e. the absence of a control group, their retrospective nature, variable dosing and duration of therapy, simultaneous administration of other antibiotics in >70% and a lack of resistance development monitoring. The necessity for well-designed prospective clinical trials is therefore urgent. Fosfomycin is active in vitro against MDR Enterobacteriaceae, including a high proportion of P. aeruginosa; however, clinical experience is lacking with the parenteral formulation in MDR infection and on the best combinations to prevent resistance development. Tigecycline, which is active against MDR Enterobacteriaceae and A. baumannii, has shown satisfactory clinical experience. However, dosage adjustment is required because of low blood levels. ACHN-490, which has promising in vitro activity against MDR K. pneumoniae, is still in early phase II trials in urinary tract infections. Meanwhile, the strict application of infection control measures is the cornerstone of nosocomial infection prevention, and antibiotic stewardship, exemplified by appropriate duration of therapy and de-escalation policies, should not be overlooked.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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