Oral antimicrobial therapy: Efficacy and safety for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections and its impact on the length of hospital stay

Young Kyung Yoon, Eu Suk Kim, Jian Hur, Shinwon Lee, Shin Woo Kim, Jin Won Cheong, Eun Ju Choo, Hong Bin Kim

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Background: Carefully switching from intravenous to oral antibiotic therapy has shown to reduce treatment costs and lengths of hospital stay as well as increase safety and comfort in patients with infections. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical efficacy and safety between the patients treated with glycopeptides (case group), and the patients given oral antibiotics, as the initial or step-down therapy (control group), in the treatment of patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. Materials and Methods: A multicenter observational study was retrospectively performed in 7 teaching hospitals in Korea from January to December 2012. The study included adult patients (≥ 18 years) with infection caused by MRSA isolates, susceptible to clindamycin, erythromycin, and ciprofloxacin. The primary end point was treatment outcome, including all-cause mortality and switching of antibiotics. Drug-related adverse events and the lengths of hospital stay were also compared between the two treatment groups. Results: During the study period, 107 patients (43 cases and 64 controls) with MRSA infections were enrolled from the participatinghospitals. The most common sites of MRSA infection were skin and soft tissue (n = 28) and bone and joint (n = 26). The median Charlson comorbidity index (P = 0. 560), the frequency of severe sepsis (P = 0.682) or thrombocytopenia (P = 1.000), and median level of serum C-reactive protein (P = 0.157) at the onset of MRSA infections were not significantly different betweenthe case and control groups. The oral antibiotics most frequently prescribed in the case group, were fluoroquinolones (n = 29) and clindamycin (n = 8). The median duration of antibiotic treatment (P = 0.090) and the occurrence of drug-related adverse events (P = 0.460) did not reach statistically significant difference between the two groups, whereas the total length of hospital stay after the onset of MRSA infection was significantly shorter in the case group than the control group [median (interquartile range), 23 days (8-41) vs. 32 days (15-54), P = 0.017]. In multivariate analyses, the type of antibiotic used was not an independent risk factor for treatment failure. The statistically significant factors associated with treatment failure included underlying hepatic diseases, prior receipt of antibiotics, and foreign body retention. Conclusions: This study indicates that oral antibiotic therapy with active agents against MRSA isolates can be considered as the initial or step-down therapy for the treatment of MRSA infections and also reduce the length of hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 by The Korean Society of Infectious Diseases.


  • Administration
  • Length of stay
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Oral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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