New developments in diagnosing and treating diabetic foot infections

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2008 May-Jun:24 Suppl 1:S66-71. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.828.


Foot infections are common in persons with diabetes and are often the proximate cause of lower extremity amputation. There have been many publications in the past few years dealing with the appropriate ways to diagnose and treat diabetic foot infections. This review presents information gathered from a comprehensive, ongoing surveillance of the literature (published and abstracts) over the past 4 years. Prospective studies have now defined the epidemiology of diabetic foot infections, as well as methods to score and classify the wounds. Several recently published guidelines can assist clinicians in managing these infections. The etiologic agents of infection have been well-defined, and the prevalence of multi-drug-resistance pathogens is growing. Molecular methods offer great promise for quicker and more sensitive diagnosis of infection. New antimicrobial agents, both systemic and topical, as well as novel local treatments, have been shown to be effective in various studies. Improved methods of deploying older agents have added to the variety of treatment approaches now available. Several adjunctive treatments may benefit some patients but their role is as yet unclear. While there is much yet to learn about the most cost-effective ways to diagnose and treat diabetic foot infections the main effort is now to disseminate the available information and facilitate employing the evidence-based guideline recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diabetic Foot / complications*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infections / diagnosis*
  • Infections / drug therapy*
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Infections / microbiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents