Tags: Dalfopristin

Enterococci

Enterococci are able to grow and survive under harsh conditions and can be found in soil, food, water, and a wide variety of animals. The major habitat of these organisms is the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other animals, where they make up a significant portion of the normal gut flora. Most enterococci isolated from human stools are E faecalis, although E faecium are also commonly found in the human gastrointestinal tract. Small numbers of enterococci are occasionally found in oropharyngeal and vaginal secretions and on the skin, especially in the perineal area.

Enterococci: Clinical Syndromes

Urinary tract infections, including uncomplicated cystitis, pyelonephritis, prostatitis, and perinephric abscess, are the most common type of clinical infections produced by enterococci (Box 1). Most enterococcal urinary tract infections are nosocomial and are associated with urinary catheterization or instrumentation. Nosocomial enterococcal bacteremias are commonly polymicrobial. Portals of entry for enterococcal bacteremia include the urinary tract, intra-abdominal or pelvic sources, wounds (especially burns, decubitus ulcers, and diabetic foot infections), intravascular catheters, and the biliary tree.

Anti-Infective Agent Dosing

The characteristics that need to be considered when administering antibiotics include absorption (when dealing with oral antibiotics), volume of distribution, metabolism, and excretion. These factors determine the dose of each drug and the time interval of administration. To effectively clear a bacterial infection, serum levels of the antibiotic need to be maintained above the minimum inhibitory concentration for a significant period. For each pathogen, the minimum inhibitory concentration is determined by serially diluting the antibiotic into liquid medium containing 104 bacteria per millihter.

Specific Anti-Infective Agents

Clinicians should be familiar with the general classes of antibiotics, their mechanisms of action, and their major toxicities. The differences between the specific antibiotics in each class can be subtle, often requiring the expertise of an infectious disease specialist to design the optimal anti-infective regimen. The general internist or physician-in-training should not attempt to memorize all the facts outlined here, but rather should read the pages that follow as an overview of anti-infectives. The chemistry, mechanisms of action, major toxicities, spectrum of activity, treatment indications, pharmacokinetics, dosing regimens, and cost are reviewed.

Skin and Soft Tissue Infections

Impetigo is a superficial skin infection that is seen most commonly in children. It is highly communicable and spreads through close contact. Most cases are caused by S. pyogenes, but S. aureus either alone or in combination with S. pyogenes has emerged as a principal cause of impetigo.

Central Nervous System Infections

Central nervous system infections include a wide variety of clinical conditions and etiologies: meningitis, meningoencephalitis, encephalitis, brain and meningeal abscesses, and shunt infections. The focus of this chapter is meningitis. N. meningitidis meningitis is the leading cuase of bacterial meningitis in children and young adults in the United States.

Antimicrobial Regimen Selection

A generally accepted systematic approach to the selection and evaluation of an antimicrobial regimen is shown in Table Systematic Approach for Selection of Antimicrobials. An «empiric» antimicrobial regimen is begun before the offending organism is identified, while a «definitive» regimen is instituted when the causative organism is known. The use of combinations to prevent the emergence of resistance is widely applied but not often realized. The only circumstance where this has been clearly effective is in the treatment of tuberculosis.

Infectious disorders

Infectious diseases comprise those illnesses that are caused by microorganisms or their products. Clinical manifestations of infection occur only when sufficient tissue injury has been inflicted directly by microbial products (e.g., endotoxins and exotoxins), or indirectly by host responses (e.g., cytokines and hydrolytic enzymes released by polymorphonuclear leukocytes). Despite the extraordinary recent advances that have occurred in therapeutics for infectious diseases, a number of basic principles should be followed to prescribe antimicrobials and vaccines is an optimal manner.

Antimicrobial therapy: general principles

A wide variety of antimicrobial agents is available to treat established infections caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites. This section will cover the general principles of antimicrobial therapy and will also include illustrative clinical problems to emphasize proper decision-making in using antimicrobials.

Quinupristin and Dalfopristin

Quinupristin and dalfopristin is a combination of 2 semisynthetic streptogramin (synergistin) antibiotics that act synergistically against susceptible gram-positive bacteria.