Mechanisms of action of newer antibiotics for Gram-positive pathogens

Lancet Infect Dis. 2005 Apr;5(4):209-18. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(05)70051-7.


Certain Gram-positive bacteria, including meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and quinolone-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae have achieved the status of "superbugs", in that there are few or no antibiotics available for therapy against these pathogens. Only a few classes of novel antibiotics have been introduced in the past 40 years, and all since 1999, including the streptogramin combination quinupristin/dalfopristin (Synercid), the oxazolidinone linezolid, and the lipopeptide daptomycin. This review discusses the mechanisms of antibiotic action against Gram-positive pathogens, and resistance counter-mechanisms developed by Gram-positive bacteria, with emphasis on the newer agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Enterococcus / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents