When to switch to an oral treatment and/or to discharge a patient with skin and soft tissue infections

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Purpose of reviewSkin and soft tissue infections prevalence is increasing and represent a frequent cause of hospital admission. New guidelines have become available in order to better define these infections and their response to antimicrobial treatment. Gram-positive bacteria, in particular Staphylococcus aureus, remain the most frequently isolated pathogens in skin and soft tissue infections. To treat complicated forms and infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, hospital admission and administration of intravenous antibiotics are often required, impacting on healthcare costs and patients’ morbidity.Recent findingsNew therapeutic options offer efficacy against drug-resistant Gram-positive bacteria as well as potential to favor early patients’ discharge, including the possibility for intravenous to oral switch and infrequent drug administration because of prolonged drug half-life. Although data from real-world studies on new antimicrobials is awaited, clinicians need clear direction on how to optimize the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections in order to avoid prolonged hospitalizations and extra costs. Early assessment of patient's clinical conditions and response to treatment appear useful in order to facilitate patients’ discharge.SummaryWe have reported the evidence for early intravenous to oral switch and early hospital discharge for patients with skin and soft tissue infections. New therapeutic options that represent promising tools in promoting an optimized management of these infections have also been reviewed.

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