Fluoroquinolones in the treatment of meningitis
- Cite this article as:
- Cottagnoud, P. & Täuber, M.G. Curr Infect Dis Rep (2003) 5: 329. doi:10.1007/s11908-003-0011-0
- 255 Downloads
The continuous increase of resistant pathogens causing meningitis has limited the efficacy of standard therapeutic regimens. Due to their excellent activity in vitro and their good penetration into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), fluoroquinolones appear promising for the treatment of meningitis caused by gram-negative microorganisms, ie, Neisseria meningitidis and nosocomial gram-negative bacilli. The newer fluoroquinolones (moxifloxacin, gemifloxacin, gatifloxacin, and garenoxacin) have excellent activity against gram-positive microorganisms. Studies in animal models and limited clinical data indicate that they may play a future role in the treatment of pneumococcal meningitis. Analysis of pharmacodynamic parameters suggests that CSF concentrations that produce a Cpeak/minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) ratio of at least 5 and concentrations above the MBC during the entire dosing interval are a prerequisite for maximal bactericidal activity in meningitis. Of interest, newer fluoroquinolones act synergistically with vancomycin and β-lactam antibiotics (ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, meropenem) against penicillin-resistant pneumococci in experimental rabbit meningitis, potentially providing a new therapeutic strategy. Clinical trials are needed to further explore the usefulness of quinolones as single agents or in combination with other drugs in the therapy of pneumococcal meningitis.