Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterial scourge. As its name suggests, MRSA is resistant to most common antibiotics and thus difficult to treat, particularly in children where it commonly causes complicated skin and skin structure infections.

Staphylococcus aureus Image/CDC
Staphylococcus aureus

In a randomized, controlled clinical trial — the first of its kind — a multi-institution research team reports that daptomycin, part of a new class of antibiotics currently approved only for use in adults, is effective and well-tolerated in children. The findings are published in the March 2017 issue of Pediatrics.

“The safety and efficacy of intravenous daptomycin was comparable to standard-of-care IV antibiotics used for hospitalized children, usually vancomycin or clindamycin for MRSA and cefazolin for methicillin-susceptible strains of S. aureus,” said first author John Bradley, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics, co-chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

“Daptomycin should provide a safe and effective alternative to vancomycin, clindamycin or linezolid for IV treatment of invasive MRSA skin infections. Concerns for vancomycin renal toxicity and clindamycin antibiotic resistance were not present. There was no evidence of daptomycin toxicity in the trial.”

The Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing whether to approve daptomycin use in children.

MRSA infections are commonly associated with patients in hospitals and nursing homes whose immune systems are weakened, but community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) is widespread, readily transmitted at daycare centers, playgrounds and in schools where children have frequent skin-to-skin contact, share toys that have not been cleaned and are more likely to have scrapes, abrasions and bites that offer potential infection entry points.

Read more at UC San Diego School of Medicine