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Current Status of Newer Carbapenems

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Objectives: Beta-lactam antibiotics represent the most commonly prescribed antibacterial agents. Since many bacteria have developed resistance to older agents, new beta-lactams have been introduced constantly. In the late 1970s, a new class of exceptionally broad-spectrum beta-lactams, the carbapenems, was identified. The carbapenems, such as the most popular imipenem and meropenem, have the widest spectra of antibacterial activity of all the beta-lactams and provide excellent coverage of many gram-negative and gram-positive aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Despite the wide antibacterial spectrum, the carbapenems globally lack activity against Enterococcus faecium, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia.

Methods: We reviewed the principal characteristics of the novel carbapenems and their clinical implications.

Results and conclusions: We included in our review: ertapenem, biapenem, panipenem, doripenem, tebipenem pivoxil and tomopenem.
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Keywords: Carbapenems; biapenem; doripenem; ertapenem; imipenem; meropenem; panipenem; tebipenem pivoxil

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Clinica Malattie Infettive, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino di Genova, Largo R.Benzi 10, 16132 Genova, Italy.

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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