Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds new antibiotic effective for diabetic foot infections

16.01.2004


A clinical trial involving 371 patients in eight countries shows that linezolid, a new antibiotic, is at least as effective as two older therapies for treating diabetic foot infections. The drug may be an important new agent for doctors treating infections that are increasingly caused by bacteria resistant to standard antibiotics, and that in severe cases may require amputation. The study, led by a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physician and conducted at 30 U.S. and 15 European sites, appears in the current issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.



Foot infections are among the most serious complications of diabetes, and a leading cause of diabetes-related hospitalizations. The infections typically occur when pathogens--usually gram-positive bacteria--infect foot ulcers. These sores develop because of diabetes-related nerve damage and loss of feeling in the feet. Amputation may be needed when infections fail to respond to therapy. People with diabetes account for about two-thirds of the 134,000 lower-limb amputations performed each year in the United States.

"The complication of diabetes that patients fear most is leg amputation, and infection is often the final pathway that leads to this tragic, if often preventable, outcome," said lead author Benjamin A. Lipsky, director of the General Internal Medicine and Antibiotic Research clinics at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.


Linezolid, sold as Zyvox (Pfizer, Inc.), was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 to treat a variety of infections, including some caused by bacteria resistant to the drug methicillin. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a major cause of infections--including diabetic foot infections--both in hospitals and communities. For years the antibiotic vancomycin had been a last line of defense against infections caused by MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant "superbugs," but now vancomycin-resistant infections have been reported.

Because of the growing problem of MRSA and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), new agents have been developed. Linezolid is among the first new treatments for MRSA infections since vancomycin was introduced in the 1950s. Based on the results of the new trial, the FDA has now specifically extended the drug’s use to most diabetic foot infections.

Unlike other newer antibiotics for MRSA and VRE, linezolid can be given orally, as well as intravenously, making it suitable for outpatient use.

"The approval of this drug for appropriately selected diabetic foot infections is important because it may reduce the need to hospitalize patients and the risk of IV-related complications," said Lipsky.

In the study, patients with diabetic foot infections were randomly assigned to receive either linezolid or one of two standard combination treatments, consisting of an aminopenicillin and a betalactamase inhibitor, a drug that blocks an enzyme that inactivates penicillin. Vancomycin could be added to the regimen for patients in the non-linezolid group if their infection was caused by MRSA.

Linezolid produced a clinical cure for 81 percent of patients, while the comparator combination was effective for 71 percent of patients. Statistically, the overall results for the two groups were about equal. However, linezolid outperformed the aminopenicillin treatments in the largest subgroup: patients with an infected ulcer, as opposed to cellulitis, osteomyelitis, or other less common types of diabetic foot infections.

Lipsky’s results were presented in part at the Oct. 2002 annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The study was supported by VA and Pharmacia, now part of Pfizer, the maker of linezolid. Lipsky has served as a consultant and speaker for Pharmacia and Pfizer.


NOTE FOR REPORTERS: Dr. Benjamin A. Lipsky, is the lead author for this study. For interviews, please contact Jeri Rowe or Ellen Flores, of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, at 206-764-2435 or jeri.rowe@med.va.gov or ellen.flores@med.va.gov.

Jeri Rowe | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Correct antibiotic dosing could preserve lung microbial diversity in cystic fibrosis
22.02.2019 | Children's National Health System

nachricht Researchers find trigger that turns strep infections into flesh-eating disease
19.02.2019 | Houston Methodist

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: (Re)solving the jet/cocoon riddle of a gravitational wave event

An international research team including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has combined radio telescopes from five continents to prove the existence of a narrow stream of material, a so-called jet, emerging from the only gravitational wave event involving two neutron stars observed so far. With its high sensitivity and excellent performance, the 100-m radio telescope in Effelsberg played an important role in the observations.

In August 2017, two neutron stars were observed colliding, producing gravitational waves that were detected by the American LIGO and European Virgo detectors....

Im Focus: Light from a roll – hybrid OLED creates innovative and functional luminous surfaces

Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...

Im Focus: Regensburg physicists watch electron transfer in a single molecule

For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.

The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...

Im Focus: University of Konstanz gains new insights into the recent development of the human immune system

Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens

Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...

Im Focus: Transformation through Light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light

When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Global Legal Hackathon at HAW Hamburg

11.02.2019 | Event News

The world of quantum chemistry meets in Heidelberg

30.01.2019 | Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

JILA researchers make coldest quantum gas of molecules

22.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Understanding high efficiency of deep ultraviolet LEDs

22.02.2019 | Materials Sciences

Russian scientists show changes in the erythrocyte nanostructure under stress

22.02.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>