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Rivista di Medicina Interna
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Panminerva Medica 2002 September;44(3):179-84
Gram-positive bacterial resistance. A challenge for the next millenium
Bassetti M., Melica G., Cenderello G., Rosso R., Di Biagio A., Bassetti D.
From the Infectious Diseases Department, S. Martino Hospital, University of Genoa School of Medicine, Genoa, Italy
Penicillin G was first used in 1941. Since then, the trend in bacterial infections has changed. New antibiotics have been developed and bacterial resistance has spread as a consequence. The spread of Gram positive resistant bacteria is related to an inappropriate use of antibiotics. Antibacterial agents are abused or overused in various fields: medicine itself, veterinary science and zootechnics. Now, at the beginning of the third millennium we have been forced to limit our therapeutic options in order to combat these insidious enemies. Selective antibiotic pressure on the microbial population, notably on enterococci and staphylococci, made these two pathogens recalcitrant to traditional chemotherapy. It is a matter of concern that today, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE) and vancomycin-intermediate and resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VISA and VRSA) are now being observed worldwide among emerging pathogens. Most pharmaceutical companies are today developing antimicrobial drugs that are active against Gram-positive bacteria. Quinupristin/dalfopristin and linezolid are the most promising drugs and are available only for serious infections; future agents being developed for multi-resistant Gram-positive infections include daptomycin and the glycyclines, although these are still in the development phase. Nevertheless, our group has had the opportunity to treat some serious infections with these drugs and the good results achieved are reported in this review.