Aug. 17, 1999 Gram-positive bacterial infections are on the rise, as are the number of new strains of bacteria that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics. For patients infected with these drug-resistant organisms, there are few, if any, therapeutic options.
Now, a study by researchers at Northwestern University Medical School and Northwestern Memorial Hospital reports that linezolid, a new antibiotic, is highly effective against a range of gram-positive bacteria, including several antibiotic-resistant enterococci and staphylococci.
The study, which appears in the August issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, describes the largest laboratory experience to date with linezolid.
Infectious disease specialist Gary A. Noskin, M.D., and co-researchers from Northwestern compared the activity of linezolid with that of a number of currently available antibiotics against approximately 4,000 fresh bacteria isolates of streptococci, enterococci and staphylococci.
They found that linezolid showed potent activity against all isolates tested and was the most active antibiotic against oxacillin-resistant staphylococci and vancomycin-resistant enterococci, including both VanA or VanB types. Against all vancomycin-susceptible bacteria, the activity of linezolid was comparable to that of vancomycin.
Based on these in vitro results, as well as his clinical experience with this drug, Noskin commented: "Linezolid appears to be a promising new antibiotic for the treatment of a wide range of gram-positive infections, including vancomycin-resistant enterococci."
Noskin is an associate professor of medicine at the Medical School and medical director of Infection Control and Prevention at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. His co-authors on this study were Farida Siddiqui, Valentina Stosor, M.D., Donna Hacek and Lance R. Peterson, M.D., professor of pathology, Northwestern University Medical School.
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