Clinical update on linezolid in the treatment of Gram-positive bacterial infections

Department of Microbiology, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust, Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Infection and Drug Resistance 06/2012; 5(1):87-102. DOI: 10.2147/IDR.S25890
Source: PubMed


Gram-positive pathogens are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in both community and health care settings. Glycopeptides have traditionally been the antibiotics of choice for multiresistant Gram-positive pathogens but there are problems with their use, including the emergence of glycopeptide-resistant strains, tissue penetration, and achieving and monitoring adequate serum levels. Newer antibiotics such as linezolid, a synthetic oxazolidinone, are available for the treatment of resistant Gram-positive bacteria. Linezolid is active against a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria and has been generally available for the treatment of Gram-positive infections since 2000. There are potential problems with linezolid use, including its bacteriostatic action and the relatively high incidence of reported adverse effects, particularly with long-term use. Long-term use may also be complicated by the development of resistance. However, linezolid has been shown to be clinically useful in the treatment of several serious infections where traditionally bacteriocidal agents have been required and many of its adverse effects are reversible on cessation. It has also been shown to be a cost-effective treatment option in several studies, with its high oral bioavailability allowing an early change from intravenous to oral formulations with consequent earlier patient discharge and lower inpatient costs.

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    ABSTRACT: Retrospective studies have documented a significant association between linezolid (LNZ) plasma concentrations and drug-related haematological toxicity. However, the safe upper threshold level for LNZ plasma trough concentrations (Cmin values) has not been defined with certainty. A prospective observational study was performed aimed at comparing LNZ Cmin values in patients developing drug-related side effects with those measured in patients not experiencing LNZ toxicity. LNZ Cmin values were measured from the first week after starting therapy and were repeated periodically up to the end of treatment. Fifty patients, for a total of 210 LNZ Cmin evaluations, were considered. All patients (n=9) who developed drug-related haematological toxicity also had significantly higher plasma LNZ Cmin values during the first week of therapy (9.0±6.4mg/L vs. 4.9±3.7mg/L; P<0.01) and thereafter (9.3±5.4mg/L vs. 4.4±3.4mg/L; P<0.01). The significant association between LNZ plasma concentrations and haematological toxicity was also confirmed by multivariate logistic regression analysis including age, serum creatinine and concomitant medications as independent variables. A causal relationship between LNZ concentrations and the risk of developing drug-related haematological toxicity was observed. Accordingly, application of therapeutic drug monitoring may improve the safety outcome of patients receiving LNZ therapy.
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    ABSTRACT: Nineteen linezolid-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis and two Staphylococcus aureus isolates recovered from two medical institutions in northeast Ohio and an S. aureus cfr index strain previously collected in the same facilities during the 2007 SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program were investigated for the genetic basis of oxazolidinone resistance and the location of cfr. S. aureus isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), spa typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The location of cfr was determined by Southern blotting and hybridization. Plasmid sequencing was performed using the 454 Life Sciences (Roche) GS-FLX DNA platform. The two S. aureus isolates showed unique PFGE patterns but were multilocus sequence type 5 (ST5) and spa type t002, whereas the S. aureus index strain was ST239 and t037. Southern blot and hybridization experiments showed that cfr was plasmid located and that the S. epidermidis isolates, one of the S. aureus isolates, and the S. aureus index strain shared an identical cfr-carrying plasmid (39.3 kb). Sequencing results confirmed these findings. A 10-kb fragment containing cfr showed the highest identity (99.9%) to a 9.5-kb fragment of plasmid pSCFS3 from a bovine Staphylococcus lentus isolate from Germany. In addition, these 39.3-kb plasmids from human S. epidermidis and S. aureus exhibited BglII restriction profiles very similar to that observed for plasmid pSCFS3. The cfr-carrying plasmid detected in the remaining S. aureus isolate (7.9 kb) was distinct and showed the highest identity to the chromosomal cfr integrate found in the chromosomal DNA of a Proteus vulgaris isolate from a pig in China.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 04/2013; 57(7). DOI:10.1128/AAC.00071-13 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To describe a case in which a linezolid desensitization protocol was successfully used for a polymicrobial surgical wound infection in a patient with multiple drug hypersensitivity reactions. Case summary: A 24-year-old woman with vocal cord dysfunction requiring tracheostomy was admitted for a surgical wound infection following a tracheostomy fistula closure procedure. The patient reported multiple antibiotic allergies including penicillins (rash), sulfonamides (rash), vancomycin (anaphylaxis), azithromycin (rash), cephalosporins (anaphylaxis), levofloxacin (unspecified), clindamycin (unspecified), and carbapenems (unspecified). Gram stain of the purulent wound drainage demonstrated mixed gram-negative and gram-positive flora, and bacterial cultures were overgrown with Proteus mirabilis, which precluded identification of other pathogens. Following failed test doses of linezolid, tigecycline, and daptomycin, all of which resulted in hypersensitivity reactions, a 16-step linezolid desensitization protocol was developed and successfully implemented without adverse reactions. The patient completed a 2-week course of antibiotic therapy that included linezolid upon finishing the desensitization protocol. Discussion: Linezolid is useful in treating complicated and uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections caused by gram-positive bacteria. With precautions, including premedication, a monitored nursing unit, and immediate availability of an emergency anaphylaxis kit, drug desensitization allows patients the ability to safely use medications to which they may have an immediate hypersensitivity reaction. Minimal data exist on linezolid desensitization protocols. Conclusions: Linezolid desensitization can be a viable option in patients requiring antimicrobial therapy for complicated gram-positive skin infections.
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