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Infect Chemother. 2013 Mar;45(1):62-8. doi: 10.3947/ic.2013.45.1.62. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

The efficacy and safety of arbekacin and vancomycin for the treatment in skin and soft tissue MRSA infection: preliminary study.

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Department of Pharmacy, Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju, Korea.



Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a one of the most important causes of nosocomial infections, and use of vancomycin for the treatment of MRSA infection has increased. Unfortunately, vancomycin-resistant enterococcus have been reported, as well as vancomycin-resistant S. aureus. Arbekacin is an antibacterial agent and belongs to the aminoglycoside family of antibiotics. It was introduced to treat MRSA infection. We studied the clinical and bacteriological efficacy and safety of arbekacin compared to vancomycin in the treatment of infections caused by MRSA.


This was a retrospective case-control study of patients who were admitted to tertiary Hospital from January 1st, 2009 to December 31st, 2010, and received the antibiotics arbekacin or vancomycin. All the skin and soft tissue MRSA infected patients who received arbekacin or vancomycin were enrolled during the study period. The bacteriological efficacy response (BER) was classified with improved and failure. The improved BER was defined as no growth of MRSA, where failure was defined as growth of MRSA, culture at the end of therapy or during treatment. Clinical efficacy response (CER) was classified as improved and failure. Improved CER was defined as resolution or reduction of the majority of signs and symptoms related to the original infection. Failure was defined as no resolution and no reduction of majority of the signs and symptoms, or worsening of one or more signs and symptoms, or new symptoms or signs associated with the original infection or a new infection.


Totally, 122 patients (63/99 in arbekacin, 59/168 in vancomycin group) with skin and soft tissue infection who recieved arbekacin or vancomcyin at least 4 days were enrolled and analysed. The bacteriological efficacy response [improved, arbekacin vs vancomycin; 73.0% (46/63), 95% confidence interval (CI) 60.3 to 83.4% vs 83.1% (49/59), 95% CI 71.0 to 91.6%] and clinical efficacy response [improved, arbekacin vs vancomycin; 67.2% (41/61), 95% CI 52.0 to 76.7% vs 78.0% (46/59), 95% CI 65.3 to 87.7%] were similar between the two groups (P=0.264, 0.265). The complication rate was significantly higher in the vancomycin group [29/59(49.2%), 95% CI 35.9 to 62.5%] than arbekacin [10/63(15.9%), 95% CI 8.4 to 29.0%] (P<0.001).


Arbekacin could be considered as an alternative antibiotics for vancomycin in skin and soft tissue infection with MRSA. However, further prospective randomized trials are needed to confirm this finding.


Arbekacin; MRSA; Skin and soft tissue infection; Vancomycin

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