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Respir Investig. 2015 Sep;53(5):201-9. doi: 10.1016/j.resinv.2015.05.003. Epub 2015 Aug 13.

Update on the combination effect of macrolide antibiotics in community-acquired pneumonia.

Author information

1
Multidisciplinary Intensive Care Research Organization, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. Electronic address: emmetobrien@rcsi.ie.
2
South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital, Medicine, San Antonio, TX, USA. Electronic address: restrepom@uthscsa.edu.
3
Multidisciplinary Intensive Care Research Organization, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. Electronic address: drmartinloeches@gmail.com.

Abstract

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a leading cause of death from an infectious cause worldwide. Guideline-concordant antibiotic therapy initiated in a timely manner is associated with improved treatment responses and patient outcomes. In the post-antibiotic era, much of the morbidity and mortality of CAP is as a result of the interaction between bacterial virulence factors and host immune responses. In patients with severe CAP, or who are critically ill, there is a lot of emerging observational evidence demonstrating improved survival rates when treatment using combination therapy with a β-lactam and a macrolide is initiated, as compared to other antibiotic regimes without a macrolide. Macrolides in combination with a β-lactam antibiotic provide broader coverage for the atypical organisms implicated in CAP, and may contribute to antibacterial synergism. However, it has been postulated that the documented immunomodulatory effects of macrolides are the primary mechanism for improved patient outcomes through attenuation of bacterial virulence factors and host systemic inflammatory responses. Despite concerns regarding the limitations of observational evidence and the lack of confirmatory randomized controlled trials, the potential magnitude of mortality benefits estimated at 20-50% cannot be overlooked. In light of recent data from a number of trials showing that combination treatment with a macrolide and a suitable second agent is justified in all patients with severe CAP, such treatment should be obligatory for those admitted to an intensive care setting.

KEYWORDS:

Combination; Community-acquired-pneumonia; Macrolides; Sepsis

PMID:
26344609
DOI:
10.1016/j.resinv.2015.05.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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