Efficacy and safety of clindamycin-based treatment for bone and joint infections: a cohort study

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2017 Dec;36(12):2513-2518. doi: 10.1007/s10096-017-3094-5. Epub 2017 Sep 7.


Clindamycin has high bioavailability together with good diffusion in bone tissue and could represent an alternative antibiotic compound for the treatment of bone and joint infections (BJIs). However, data regarding the efficacy and safety of clindamycin for BJIs are limited. A monocentric cohort study based on our medical dashboard, which prospectively recorded 28 characteristics for all hospitalized patients since July 2005, was performed. BJIs were selected, and then, all mono-microbial BJI managed with clindamycin-based therapy were included. Remission was defined as the absence of clinical and/or microbiological relapse after treatment. The duration of follow-up without relapse was determined retrospectively using computerized medical records. For 10 years, 196 BJIs, of which 80 (41%) were device-associated infections, were treated with clindamycin-based therapy. The bacterial causative agent was Staphylococcus aureus in 130 cases (66%), coagulase-negative staphylococci in 29 cases (15%), streptococci in 31 cases (16%) and other bacteria in 6 cases (3%). When used in combination therapy, clindamycin was mainly paired with fluoroquinolones (31%) or rifampin (27%). The mean duration of clindamycin treatment was 7.4 ± 3.2 weeks (range, 1-24). An AE was recorded for 9 (4.5%) patients. Remission was recorded for 111 (57%) patients, with a mean duration of clinical follow-up of 28 ± 24 months. Treatment failure occurred in 22 (11%) patients, 50 patients (25%) were lost to follow-up, and 8 (4%) required long-term suppressive therapy. Among the assessable patients, clindamycin-based therapy was efficient in 111/133 cases (83%) and thus represents a reliable and safe alternative treatment option.

Keywords: Bone and joint infections; Clindamycin; Efficacy; Staphylococcus; Streptococcus; Tolerance.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / microbiology
  • Clindamycin / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteitis / diagnosis
  • Osteitis / drug therapy*
  • Osteitis / microbiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Clindamycin