Introduction: Antibiotic therapy of osteomyelitis is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach including surgeons and infectious diseases specialists. However, it suffers from a lack of high-quality clinical studies indicating the superiority of one type of therapy over another. Knowing the antibiotics and their main characteristics is important to guide the choice of treatment for patients with osteomyelitis.
Areas covered: The aim of the present article is to review the systemic curative antibiotic therapy of osteomyelitis in adults with a focus on new agents. Diabetic foot osteomyelitis will be briefly discussed separately. A literature search of the PubMed database using the term 'osteomyelitis' alone and in combination with 'hematogenous', 'vertebral', 'biofilm', 'diabetic foot', 'trauma', 'antibiotic' 'daptomycin', 'telavancin', 'tigecycline', 'linezolid', 'ertapenem', 'ceftobiprole' and 'ceftaroline' was carried out.
Expert opinion: Antibiotic treatment of acute and chronic osteomyelitis should be considered as two distinct entities with regard to the choice of the most appropriate antibiotics and the need for surgery. Among the most recently available antibiotics, ertapenem and daptomycin are promising agents for the treatment of osteomyelitis due to resistant bacteria.