The role of carbapenem-resistant pathogens in cSSTI and how to manage them

Paola Del Giacomo, Angela Raffaella Losito, Mario Tumbarello
Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 2019, 32 (2): 113-122

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) with a wide spectrum of disease severity ranging from uncomplicated to potentially lethal are still a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The burden of carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacteria (CR-GNB) in SSTIs is increasing. Luckily, the armamentarium of drugs available is recently expanding as well. The present review looks at data on the role CR-GNB in SSTIs and on the old and new drugs available for the treatment of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter.

RECENT FINDINGS: The most recent information concern the availability of new antibiotics that, even if no specific clinical trials on complicated SSTIs (cSSTIs) have been performed, may play a role in clinical practice also for the treatment of cSSTIs caused by CR-GNB. Ceftolozane-tazobactam has been found to be a good option for CR Pseudomonas infections including SSTIs. Ceftazidime-avibactam is approved for several indications, including aerobic GNB infections with limited treatment options. Meropenem-vaborbactam therapy has been associated with decreased mortality in infections caused by CRE. Eravacycline has the potential to become useful for the treatment of CR Acinetobacter for which the treatment options are limited.

SUMMARY: In the carbapenem resistance era, the physicians goal should be to stratify patients according to risk factors for CR-GNB causing SSTIs in order to minimize inappropriate initial therapies. Some recently approved drugs seem destined to become the backbone of target therapy in patients with severe infections caused by susceptible CR-GNB strains. Prompt diagnosis of cSSTIs is crucial and, when feasible, surgical debridement as source control is essential as well.

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