Ertapenem highly potent against pathogens isolated from bite wounds


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The new parenteral carbapenem, ertapenem, exhibits broad spectrum activity against aerobic and anaerobic pathogens isolated from animal and human bite wound infections, report investigators with the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.

Ertapenem is a once-a-day, injectable beta-lactam antibiotic recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for moderate-to-severe infections caused by Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (see Reuters Health report, November 29, 2001).

Dr. Ellie J. C. Goldstein and associates evaluated in vitro activity of the drug against 240 aerobic and 180 anaerobic isolates from clinical bite wound infections. Wounds were caused primarily by dogs, cats, and humans. The researchers' findings appear in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy for November.

Of the 420 isolates, 410 were inhibited by ertapenem at concentrations of no more than 4 mg/L. Ertapenem was active against 170 of 180 anaerobes at concentrations not exceeding 0.05 mg/L.

Campylobacter gracilis and C. rectus strains often required more than 16 mg/L for inhibition. For several Enterococcus faecalis and one Staphylococcus epidermidis strains, minimal inhibitory concentrations were 8 mg/L.

Dr. Goldstein's group concludes that "ertapenem…merits further evaluation as a therapeutic alternative in serious animal and human bite wound infections."

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