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The only factor associated with failure was the oral antibiotic selection, not the duration of treatment” Tornero et al (2016).


Objectives: Early prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) are managed with debridement, implant retention and antibiotics (DAIR). Our aim was to evaluate risk factors for failure after stopping antibiotic treatment.

Methods: From 1999 to 2013, early PJIs managed with DAIR were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed. The main variables potentially associated with outcome were gathered, and the minimum follow-up was 2 years. For the present study, only patients who were in remission after one debridement and without long-term antibiotic suppression were included. The primary endpoint was implant removal or the need to reintroduce antibiotic treatment due to failure.

Results: One-hundred-and-forty-three patients met the inclusion criteria. The failure rate after a median duration of oral antibiotic treatment of 69 days (IQR 45–95 days) was 11.8%. In 92 cases, PJI was due to Gram-positive microorganisms, in 21 cases PJI was due to Gram-negative microorganisms and in 30 cases PJI was due to a polymicrobial infection with both Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms. In Gram-positive infections, rifampicin administered in combination with linezolid, co-trimoxazole or clindamycin was associated with a higher failure rate (27.8%, P = 0.026) than that in patients receiving a combination of rifampicin with levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin or amoxicillin (8.3%) or monotherapy with linezolid or co-trimoxazole (0%). Among patients with a Gram-negative infection, the use of fluoroquinolones was associated with a lower failure rate (7.1% versus 37.5%, P = 0.044).

Conclusions: The only factor associated with failure was the oral antibiotic selection, not the duration of treatment. Linezolid, co-trimoxazole and clindamycin, but not levofloxacin, serum concentrations are reduced by rifampicin; a fact that could explain our findings. Further studies monitoring serum concentration could help to improve the efficacy of these antibiotics when administered in combination with rifampicin.


Tornero, E., Morata, L., Martínez-Pastor, J.C., Angulo, S., Combalia, A., Bori, G., García-Ramiro, S., Bosch, J., Mensa, J. and Soriano, A. (2016) Importance of selection and duration of antibiotic regimen in prosthetic joint infections treated with debridement and implant retention. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 71(5), p.1395-1401.

doi: 10.1093/jac/dkv481

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