Fighting infections due to multidrug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Mar;15(3):209-11
Authors: Cornaglia G
Growing bacterial resistance in Gram-positive pathogens means that what were once effective and inexpensive treatments for infections caused by these bacteria are now being seriously questioned, including penicillin and macrolides for use against pneumococcal infections and-in hospitals-oxacillin for use against staphylococcal infections. As a whole, multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-positive pathogens are rapidly becoming an urgent and sometimes unmanageable clinical problem. Nevertheless, and despite decades of research into the effects of antibiotics, the actual risk posed to human health by antibiotic resistance has been poorly defined; the lack of reliable data concerning the outcomes resulting from antimicrobial resistance stems, in part, from problems with study designs and the methods used in resistence determination. Surprisingly little is known, too, about the actual effectiveness of the many types of intervention aimed at controlling antibiotic resistance. New antibiotics active against MDR Gram-positive pathogens have been recently introduced into clinical practice, and the antibiotic pipeline contains additional compounds at an advanced stage of development, including new glycopeptides, new anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) beta-lactams, and new diaminopyrimidines. Many novel antimicrobial agents are likely to be niche products, endowed with narrow antibacterial spectra and/or targeted at specific clinical problems. Therefore, an important educational goal will be to change the current, long-lasting attitudes of both physicians and customers towards broad-spectrum and multipurpose compounds. Scientific societies, such as the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), must play a leading role in this process.
PMID: 19335367 [PubMed - in process]