The oxazolidinone antibiotic linezolid has demonstrated potent antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacterial pathogens, including methicillin-resistant staphylococci. This article systematically reviews the published literature for reports of linezolid-resistant Staphylococcus (LRS) infections to identify epidemiological, microbiological and clinical features for these infections. Linezolid remains active against >98% of Staphylococcus, with resistance identified in 0.05% of Staphylococcus aureus and 1.4% of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS). In all reported cases, patients were treated with linezolid prior to isolation of LRS, with mean times of 20.0 ± 47.0 months for S. aureus and 11.0 ± 8.0 days for CoNS. The most common mechanisms for linezolid resistance were mutation (G2576T) to the 23S rRNA (63.5% of LRSA and 60.2% of LRCoNS) or the presence of a transmissible cfr ribosomal methyltransferase (54.5% of LRSA and 15.9% of LRCoNS). The emergence of linezolid resistance in Staphylococcus poses significant challenges to the clinical treatment of infections caused by these organisms, and in particular CoNS.
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