Patient Care

Once-Weekly Antibiotic Might Be Effective for Treatment of Acute Bacterial Skin Infections


Clinical question: Is once-weekly intravenous dalbavancin as effective as conventional therapy for the treatment of acute bacterial skin infections?

Background: Acute bacterial skin infections are common and often require hospitalization for intravenous antibiotic administration. Treatment covering gram-positive bacteria usually is indicated. Dalbavancin is effective against gram-positives, including MRSA. Its long half-life makes it an attractive alternative to other commonly used antibiotics, which require more frequent dosing.

Study design: Phase 3, double-blinded RCT.

Setting: Multiple international centers.

Synopsis: Researchers randomized 1,312 patients with acute bacterial skin and skin-structure infections with signs of systemic infection requiring intravenous antibiotics to receive dalbavancin on days one and eight, with placebo on other days, or several doses of vancomycin with an option to switch to oral linezolid. The primary endpoint was cessation of spread of erythema and temperature of =37.6°C at 48–72 hours. Secondary endpoints included a decrease in lesion area of =20% at 48–72 hours and clinical success at end of therapy (determined by clinical and historical features). Results of the primary endpoint were similar with dalbavancin and vancomycin-linezolid groups (79.7% and 79.8%, respectively) and were within 10 percentage points of noninferiority. The secondary endpoints were similar between both groups. Limitations of the study were the early primary endpoint, lack of noninferiority analysis of the secondary endpoints, and cost-effective analysis.

Bottom line: Once-weekly dalbavancin appears to be similarly efficacious to intravenous vancomycin in the treatment of acute bacterial skin infections in terms of outcomes within 48–72 hours of therapy and might provide an alternative to continued inpatient hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics in stable patients.

Citation: Boucher HW, Wilcox M, Talbot GH, Puttagunta S, Das AF, Dunne MW. Once-weekly dalbavancin versus daily conventional therapy for skin infection. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(23):2169-2179.

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