Treatment of polymicrobial infections: post hoc analysis of three trials comparing ertapenem and piperacillin–tazobactam

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The efficacy of ertapenem 1 g once a day for the treatment of polymicrobial complicated intra-abdominal, complicated skin/skin-structure and acute pelvic infections was compared with piperacillin–tazobactam 3.375 g every 6 h in a post hoc analysis of data from three large randomized double-blind trials. Of the 1558 treated patients in the three trials, no pathogen was identified in 345 (22.1%), 423 (27.2%) had a monomicrobial infection and 790 (50.7%) had a polymicrobial infection. At the test-of-cure assessment, there were no significant differences in outcome between the two treatment groups for any of the three infections. Cure rates (clinical and microbiological for intra-abdominal infection, clinical for skin/skin-structure and pelvic infections) in microbiologically evaluable patients for ertapenem and piperacillin–tazobactam, respectively, were 85.6% (154/180 evaluable patients) and 82.5% (127/154) for polymicrobial intra-abdominal infection, 80.3% (53/66) and 78.7% (48/61) for polymicrobial skin/skin-structure infection, and 95.7% (88/92) and 92.6% (88/95) for polymicrobial pelvic infection. Respective cure rates for all evaluable patients in the original trials were: 83.6% and 80.4% for intra-abdominal, 83.9% and 85.3% for skin/skin-structure, and 93.9% and 91.5% for pelvic infections. These data show that in the three trials, ertapenem 1 g once a day was highly effective for the treatment of polymicrobial infections and as effective as piperacillin–tazobactam 3.375 g every 6 h.

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