Introduction: Brain abscess is an uncommon and potentially life-threatening infection of the CNS that can be caused by a range of different pathogens including bacteria, fungi, and parasites. A multidisciplinary approach is important and anti-infective treatment remains crucial. Here, we review anti-infective treatment of brain abscess. Areas covered: We used the terms '(Brain abscess[ti] AND (antibiotic* OR treatment)) NOT case report'), to conduct a search in the PubMed. Additional papers were identified by cross-reference checking and by browsing textbooks of infectious diseases and neurology.
Commentary: Empiric treatment of bacterial brain abscess consists of cefotaxime and metronidazole with the addition of vancomycin if meticilline-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is suspected. For severely immuno-suppressed patients, for example transplant recipients, voriconazole and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or sulfadiazine should be added. Increased knowledge of the pharmacokinetic profile of anti-infective treatments may help to improve the treatment of brain abscess. Future studies should address efficacy and safety of continuous abscess drainage, mode of anti-infective administration (continuous vs. bolus), and anti-infective treatments in immuno-suppressed patients.
Keywords: Brain abscess; anti-infective; antibiotic; antifungal; antimicrobial; review; therapy; treatment.