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Clindamycin, Metronidazole, and Chloramphenicol

  • Mary Jo Kasten
    Correspondence
    Individual reprints of this article are not available. The entire Symposium on Antimicrobial Agents will be available for purchase as a bound booklet from the Proceedings Editorial Office at a later date
    Affiliations
    Division of Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine and Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, Minnesota
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      Clindamycin, metronidazole, and chloramphenicol are three antimicrobial agents useful in the treatment of anaerobic infections. Clindamycin is effective in the treatment of most infections involving anaerobes and gram-positive cocci, but emerging resistance has become a problem in some clinical settings. Metronidazole is effective in the treatment of infections involving gram-negative anaerobes, but it is unreliable in the treatment of gram-positive anaerobic infections and is ineffective in treating aerobic infections. Additionally, metronidazole is often the drug of choice in treating infections in which Bacteroides fragilis is a serious concern. Chloramphenicol is effective in the treatment of a wide variety of bacterial infections, including serious anaerobic infections, but is rarely used in Western countries because of concerns about toxicity, including aplastic anemia and gray baby syndrome.
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