In 2013 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued recommendations and guidance on developing drugs for treatment of skin infection using a new definition of acute bacterial skin and skin-structure infection (ABSSSI). The new classification includes cellulitis, erysipelas, major skin abscesses and wound infection with a considerable extension of skin involvement, clearly referring to a severe subset of skin infections. The main goal of the FDA was to better identify specific infections where the advantages of a new antibiotic could be precisely estimated through quantifiable parameters, such as improvement of the lesion size and of systemic signs of infection. Before the spread and diffusion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in skin infections, antibiotic therapy was relatively straightforward. Using an empiric approach, a β-lactam was the preferred therapy and cultures from patients were rarely obtained. With the emergence of MRSA in the community setting, initial ABSSSI management has been changed and readdressed. Dalbavancin, oritavancin and tedizolid are new drugs, approved or in development for ABSSSI treatment, that also proved to be efficient against MRSA. Dalbavancin and oritavancin have a long half-life and can be dosed less frequently. This in turn makes it possible to treat patients with ABSSSI in an outpatient setting, avoiding hospitalization or potentially allowing earlier discharge, without compromising efficacy. In conclusion, characteristics of long-acting antibiotics could represent an opportunity for the management of ABSSSI and could profoundly modify the management of these infections by reducing or in some cases eliminating both costs and risks of hospitalization.
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