Efficacy of linezolid versus comparator therapies in Gram-positive infections

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Treatment of Gram-positive bacterial infections is currently a therapeutic challenge because many of these pathogens are now resistant to standard antimicrobial agents. The emergence of multidrug-resistant, Gram-positive pathogens emphasizes the need for new antimicrobial therapy. Linezolid is an oxazolidinone antibiotic with a novel mechanism of action that works by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis by blocking formation of the initiation complex. It is active against Gram-positive organisms resistant to other antibiotics, including methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus(MRSA), penicillin-resistantStreptococcus pneumoniaeand vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Results are encouraging from several large-scale, randomized, Phase III trials comparing the efficacy and safety of linezolid with standard comparator agents for the treatment of nosocomial pneumonia, community-acquired pneumonia, skin and skin structure infections, and infections due to MRSA and VRE. Intravenous/oral linezolid is a promising antimicrobial agent and provides the clinician with an additional treatment option, particularly among the limited therapies for resistant Gram-positive bacterial infections.

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