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Review
, 8 (2), 297-321

Ketolides: An Emerging Treatment for Macrolide-Resistant Respiratory Infections, Focusing on S. Pneumoniae

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Review

Ketolides: An Emerging Treatment for Macrolide-Resistant Respiratory Infections, Focusing on S. Pneumoniae

George G Zhanel et al. Expert Opin Emerg Drugs.

Abstract

Resistance to antibiotics in community acquired respiratory infections is increasing worldwide. Resistance to the macrolides can be class-specific, as in efflux or ribosomal mutations, or, in the case of erythromycin ribosomal methylase (erm)-mediated resistance, may generate cross-resistance to other related classes. The ketolides are a new subclass of macrolides specifically designed to combat macrolide-resistant respiratory pathogens. X-ray crystallography indicates that ketolides bind to a secondary region in domain II of the 23S rRNA subunit, resulting in an improved structure-activity relationship. Telithromycin and cethromycin (formerly ABT-773) are the two most clinically advanced ketolides, exhibiting greater activity towards both typical and atypical respiratory pathogens. As a subclass of macrolides, ketolides demonstrate potent activity against most macrolide-resistant streptococci, including ermB- and macrolide efflux (mef)A-positive Streptococcus pneumoniae. Their pharmacokinetics display a long half-life as well as extensive tissue distribution and uptake into respiratory tissues and fluids, allowing for once-daily dosing. Clinical trials focusing on respiratory infections indicate bacteriological and clinical cure rates similar to comparators, even in patients infected with macrolide-resistant strains.

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