The potential role of newer gram-positive antibiotics in the setting of osteomyelitis of adults


Correspondence: Travis W. Linneman, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist – Internal Medicine, St. Louis VA Medical Center – John Cochran Division, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, 915 N. Grand Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63106, USA. Tel.: 314-652-4100, 5-3627; fax: 314.289.7007; e-mail:


What is known and Objective

To summarize available literature regarding the potential role of linezolid, daptomycin, telavancin, tigecycline and ceftaroline for the treatment of osteomyelitis caused by resistant gram-positive organisms.


Literature was obtained through PubMed searches from January 1980 to October 2011 using the terms osteomyelitis, bone, linezolid, daptomycin, telavancin, tigecycline and ceftaroline. Results were limited to those published in English. All articles identified from the PubMed searches were evaluated. Any published data related to bone penetration (animal or human) or clinical outcomes in adult osteomyelitis of these agents were included in the review.

Results and Discussion

Animal models report bone concentrations of 2·3 mcg/dL (vertebral) for linezolid, 0·45 mcg/mL (tibiae) for daptomycin, 0·78 mcg/mL (tibiae) for tigecycline and 0·27 mcg/mL (tibiae) for telavancin; no data are available for ceftaroline. Human studies demonstrate bone concentrations of 4·6, 17·0 and 3·9 mcg/mL (sternal, metatarsal and cancellous bone respectively) for linezolid, 4·7 mcg/mL (metatarsal) for daptomycin and 0·078 mcg/mL (unspecified) for tigecycline; no data are available for telavancin and ceftaroline. Retrospective cohort data, and prospective/retrospective case series support the use of linezolid in this setting; however, side-effects may limit use. Retrospective and prospective cohort data support daptomycin use. A retrospective case series is available supporting the use of telavancin. No data are available supporting clinical effectiveness for ceftaroline or tigecycline in the setting of osteomyelitis.

What is New and Conclusion

Limited data are available evaluating the safety and efficacy of these agents in osteomyelitis in adults. Daptomycin and telavancin may be potential alternatives or second-line agents to vancomycin in selected patients. Linezolid, because of an increase in clinically important ADRs with prolonged use, should be reserved as a second- or third-line agent. Due to a lack of clinical data and poor bone penetration, along with concerns regarding outcomes in severe infections, tigecycline's potential is limited. Little data exist regarding ceftaroline use in osteomyelitis.