A Guide To Emerging Antibiotics For Diabetic Foot Infections

Author(s): 
By Mark Kosinski, DPM, and Warren Joseph, DPM

   Lipsky and Stoutenburgh conducted a study comparing the effectiveness of daptomycin against semi-synthetic penicillins or vancomycin. The authors concluded that among 103 clinically evaluable patients, the clinical and microbiological efficacy and safety of daptomycin was not statistically different from comparator antibiotics (66 percent versus 70 percent respectively) for treating infected diabetic foot ulcers caused by gram-positive pathogens.8

   Although one should consider daptomycin for treating diabetic foot infections, its lack of gram-negative and anaerobic activity may necessitate combination therapy for moderate and severe diabetic foot infections when these organisms are a concern.

   • Dalbavancin (Vicuron Pharmaceuticals/Pfizer). Dalbavancin is a novel, parenteral liopoglycopeptide antibiotic with strong activity against gram-positive organisms including resistant staphylococci (MRSA). Its long half-life allows for once-a-week dosing. Still awaiting FDA new drug approval for the treatment of cSSSIs, dalbavancin should become available in early 2006. As with daptomycin, combination therapy with an agent active against gram-negatives and anaerobes may be necessary in moderate to severe diabetic foot infections.

   Telavancin, another antibiotic of the same class, has a similar spectrum of activity but with once daily rather than once weekly dosing.

In Conclusion

   Many other new agents are in the pipeline and will be available in the coming years. Although currently available cephalosporins have no activity against MRSA, one agent under study is ceftobiprole. It is the first of a new class of broad-spectrum cephalosporins with bactericidal activity against gram-positive resistant bacteria including MRSA. Its gram-negative coverage is similar to that of third-generation cephalosporins. Trials are currently ongoing in patients with cSSSIs as well as nosocomial pneumonia.9

Dr. Kosinski is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. He is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Dr. Joseph is a Consultant in lower extremity infectious diseases and is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He is an Attending Podiatrist at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Coatesville, Pa.

Dr. Steinberg (pictured) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.




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