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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2017 Apr 19;99(8):656-665. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.16.01002.

Oral-Only Linezolid-Rifampin Is Highly Effective Compared with Other Antibiotics for Periprosthetic Joint Infection: Study of a Mouse Model.

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1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (J.M.T., R.S.S., and L.S.M.), Department of Pediatrics (V.S., A.A.O., and S.K.J.), Center for Infection and Inflammation Imaging Research (V.S., A.A.O., and S.K.J.), Department of Dermatology (A.G.A., R.J.M., R.V.O., Y.W., and L.S.M.), and Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine (L.S.M.), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.



The medical treatment of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) involves prolonged systemic antibiotic courses, often with suboptimal clinical outcomes including increased morbidity and health-care costs. Oral and intravenous monotherapies and combination antibiotic regimens were evaluated in a mouse model of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) PJI.


Oral linezolid with or without oral rifampin, intravenous vancomycin with oral rifampin, intravenous daptomycin or ceftaroline with or without oral rifampin, oral doxycycline, or sham treatment were administered at human-exposure doses for 6 weeks in a mouse model of PJI. Bacterial burden was assessed by in vivo bioluminescent imaging and ex vivo counting of colony-forming units (CFUs), and reactive bone changes were evaluated with radiographs and micro-computed tomography (μCT) imaging.


Oral-only linezolid-rifampin and all intravenous antibiotic-rifampin combinations resulted in no recoverable bacteria and minimized reactive bone changes. Although oral linezolid was the most effective monotherapy, all oral and intravenous antibiotic monotherapies failed to clear infection or prevent reactive bone changes.


Combination antibiotic-rifampin regimens, including oral-only linezolid-rifampin and the newer ceftaroline-rifampin combinations, were highly effective and more efficacious than monotherapies when used against a preclinical MRSA PJI.


This study provides important preclinical evidence to better optimize future antibiotic therapy against PJIs. In particular, the oral-only linezolid-rifampin option might reduce venous access complications and health-care costs.

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