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Role of quinupristin/dalfopristin in the treatment of Gram-positive nosocomial infections in haematological or oncological patients.

Author(s): Klastersky J

Affiliation(s): Department of Medicine, Institut Jules Bordet, Bruxelles, Belgium. jean.klastersky@bordet.be

Publication date & source: 2003-10, Cancer Treat Rev., 29(5):431-40.

Publication type: Review

Gram-positive pathogens, primarily Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, viridans group streptococci, and enterococci, are now the predominant causes of infection in neutropenic haematology/oncology patients, but are often resistant to multiple antibiotics. Glycopeptides have been the only alternative antibiotic treatments for multidrug-resistant Gram-positive infections to date. However, glycopeptides are not always effective or well tolerated, and can produce nephrotoxic or ototoxic effects. Quinupristin/dalfopristin is a recently introduced streptogramin antibiotic that is active in vitro against most of the major Gram-positive pathogens causing infection in neutropenic patients. Recent studies of the in vitro susceptibility of clinical isolates of Gram-positive pathogens to quinupristin/dalfopristin are summarized. Pre-clinical and clinical studies of the efficacy and safety of quinupristin/dalfopristin in the treatment of Gram-positive infections are reviewed. Quinupristin/dalfopristin is active in vitro against the vast majority of recent isolates of relevant Gram-positive pathogens, including methicillin-resistant staphylococci, viridans group streptococci, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, but excluding Enterococcus faecalis. Pre-clinical and clinical data indicate the efficacy of quinupristin/dalfopristin in infections caused by these organisms, including bacteraemia and catheter-related infections. Quinupristin/dalfopristin is not associated with nephrotoxicity or ototoxicity. Quinupristin/dalfopristin is a potential alternative to glycopeptides in haematology or oncology patients with multidrug-resistant Gram-positive infections, especially those who are unresponsive to, or intolerant of, glycopeptides.

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