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Arch Dermatol. 1986 Nov;122(11):1273-6.

Topical antibiotic treatment of impetigo with mupirocin.


Because the effectiveness of topical antimicrobials in the treatment of ecthyma, impetigo, and pyoderma is not well established, the US Food and Drug Administration has recently proposed guidelines for tests of topical antimicrobial efficacy in primary skin infections. The guidelines require both comparison with the agent's base and microbiologic documentation of efficacy. These guidelines were followed in this double-blind, eight-day evaluation of impetigo/ecthyma treated with mupirocin, a new agent that is only active topically. All cultures, before and after therapy, were taken using swabs dipped in neutralizing broth plus 10% fetal bovine serum to minimize antimicrobial "carry over" to the culture plate. Staphylococcus aureus, which was isolated from 94% of the patients before therapy, was eliminated in 88% of the mupirocin-treated patients and 47% of the vehicle-treated patients. Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci were eliminated in 100% of the mupirocin-treated and 0% of the vehicle-treated patients. To our knowledge, this is the first topical antibacterial treatment for primary skin infections proved superior to its vehicle using the proposed US Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

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