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European perspective and update on the management of complicated skin and soft tissue infections due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus after more than 10 years of experience with linezolid.

Complicated skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTIs) are a diverse group of infections, with a range of presentations and microbiological causes. Hospitalization is common for patients with a cSSTI, which is treated by drainage of the affected area and with antibiotics. Host factors such as co-morbidities, and microbial factors, in particular drug resistance, complicate the management of these infections. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important cSSTI pathogen in Europe, and its involvement can be associated with poor patient outcomes. European guidelines recommend vancomycin, teicoplanin, linezolid, daptomycin, tigecycline or ceftaroline for treatment of MRSA cSSTIs. Of primary importance when treating cSSTIs is the agent's clinical efficacy against the causative pathogens, as well as its bioavailability in the skin and associated structures. Linezolid is well-suited for the treatment of MRSA cSSTIs; it achieves high penetration into skin and soft tissues with 100% oral bioavailability, and therefore enables an intravenous to oral switch and outpatient treatment. When eligible patients are offered oral therapy the associated length of hospital stay and overall costs can be reduced. Linezolid has demonstrated clinical efficacy and favourable outcomes in patients for the treatment of MRSA cSSTIs including the treatment of lower extremity infections. Furthermore, efficacy has been documented in key defined populations, such as individuals with renal impairment and the obese. The safety profile of linezolid is well-documented, making this antibacterial a viable choice for the treatment of MRSA cSSTIs.

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