Multidrug resistant bacteria infections are associated with an increase in attributable mortality and morbidity in ICU patients. Unfortunately, an emerging resistance to novel antibiotics used in the therapy of gram negative and gram positive bacteria infections is often reported in literature. Old antibiotics have been reintroduced in clinical practice. In this review we report the efficacy and safety use of older antimicrobial agents in critically ill patients. Polymyxins are used for nosocomial infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii resistant strains. Patients with polymyxin-only susceptible gram-negative Nosocomial pneumonia are reported to be successfully treated with inhaled colistin. Isepamicin can probably be used in intensive care units that harbor Gram-negative bacteria resistant to other aminoglycosides. Fosfomycin may be a useful alternative to linezolid and quinupristin-dalfopristin in the treatment of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) infections in certain clinical situations, e.g. uncomplicated urinary tract infections. Chloramphenicol has a wide antimicrobial spectrum and excellent tissue penetration; though it is sometimes used empirically in the hospital setting for the treatment of patients with unknown source of fever, its role is still a matter of controversy. The colistin/rifampicin combination might have a synergistic effect in Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. Fusidic acid is active against staphylococcal strains.
Keywords: Polymyxins, isepamicin, fosfomycin, chloramphenicol, rifampicin, fusidic acid, multidrug bacteria infections, old antibiotics
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