Clinical trial results with linezolid, an oxazolidinone, in the treatment of soft tissue and postoperative gram-positive infections

S E Wilson
Surgical Infections 2001, 2 (1): 25-35

BACKGROUND: Infectious complications encountered after major surgery include operative site infections and nosocomial pneumonia. Recent infection surveillance programs have identified the increasing pathogenic role of gram-positive bacteria in these infections and the high prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the United States and abroad. Surgical site infections and nosocomial pneumonia, often serious infections, are associated with adverse clinical outcomes including bacteremia and its resultant complications, as well as the socioeconomic consequences of excess hospitalization and discharge to nursing care.

METHODS: The essential triad for management of postoperative soft tissue infection consists of thorough appraisal of the infection site for reintervention, culture of drainage or infected tissue, and prompt initiation of empiric antimicrobial therapy designed to cover the most probable causative pathogens. Broad-spectrum antimicrobial regimens are often necessary for empiric therapy of skin and soft tissue infections or nosocomial pneumonia; however, regimens should be tailored to the most effective and clinically appropriate agent based on results of susceptibility testing.

RESULTS: Results of the clinical trial experience with the first United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antimicrobial in the new class of oxazolidinones, linezolid, are reviewed.

CONCLUSION: In randomized, controlled trials, linezolid 600 mg twice daily (intravenously or orally) provided effective antimicrobial therapy for gram-positive soft tissue infections, including MRSA, and nosocomial pneumonia in which S. aureus was a causative pathogen.


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