What's new in the treatment of serious MRSA infection?

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2014 Dec;27(6):471-8. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000101.


Purpose of review: Vancomycin has been the cornerstone of treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. This review describes new MRSA-active antibiotics that have recently been introduced and highlights emerging resistance.

Recent findings: Elevations in the vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration within the susceptible range are associated with treatment failure and mortality in the treatment of MRSA infections. Ceftaroline and ceftobiprole are anti-MRSA cephalosporins and are noninferior to comparator agents in the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSIs) and pneumonia. Tedizolid is more potent than linezolid, has improved pharmacokinetics and reduced toxicity and is active against cfr-containing S. aureus. Telavancin now has approval for treatment of hospital-acquired pneumonia, and recent phase 2 trial data showed similar cure rates in S. aureus bacteremia. Dalbavancin and oritavancin are administered once weekly and are noninferior to comparators for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections. Resistance has emerged against many new anti-MRSA antimicrobials including ceftaroline. Combination therapy of β-lactams with vancomycin or daptomycin is increasing.

Summary: Several new MRSA-active agents are now approved for use, although much of the data is derived from treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections or pneumonia. Further studies are required for more invasive infections, such as bacteremia and endocarditis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cephalosporins / administration & dosage
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Glycopeptides / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Linezolid
  • Lipoglycopeptides
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oxazolidinones / administration & dosage
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial / immunology
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Tetrazoles / administration & dosage
  • Vancomycin / administration & dosage


  • Acetamides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cephalosporins
  • Glycopeptides
  • Lipoglycopeptides
  • Oxazolidinones
  • Tetrazoles
  • ceftobiprole
  • Vancomycin
  • tedizolid
  • Linezolid
  • oritavancin