First isolated in the 1960s methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a leading hospital acquired (HA) pathogen, although community acquired isolates (CA-MRSA) are on the rise, particularly in the USA. Treatment of serious MRSA infections has been based for many years upon the use of glycopeptides, i.e. vancomycin and teicoplanin. Other drugs indicated in particular clinical settings, such as prosthetic valve endocarditis or osteomyelitis, are rifampin, gentamycin, fusidic acid, minocycline, co-trimoxazole, clindamycin. Quinolones and doxycycline may be active on some MRSA isolates, and add some this important clinical setting. In the last few years new anti-MRSA drugs have been registered and patented, expanding therapeutic opportunities, i.e. linezolid, the first oxazolidinone, available both as oral and parenteral formulation in being the most widely used new anti-MRSA agent, quinupristin-dalfopristin, daptomycin, a novel lipopeptide, active on germs both in the replicating and in the resting phase, and tigecycline, the first approved glycylcycline. Other drugs from different classes are in the pipeline and will further enhance in the next few years our therapeutic armamentarium: three glycopeptides, i.e. dalbavancin, telavancin, and oritavancin, two broad spectrum cephalosporins, ceftobiprole and ceftaroline, iclaprim, a diaminopyrimidine, as well as a carbapenem, CS- 023/RO-4908463, and adjuvant therapies such as the monoclonal antibody tefibazumab.
Keywords: Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, mechanism of resistance, daptomycin, linezolid, tigecycline, quinupristin/dalfopristin, ceftaroline, ceftobiprole, dalbavancin, CS-023/RO-4908463