Teicoplanin-based antimicrobial therapy in Staphylococcus aureus bone and joint infection: tolerance, efficacy and experience with subcutaneous administration


Staphylococci represent the first etiologic agents of bone and joint infection (BJI), leading glycopeptides use, especially in case of methicillin-resistance or betalactam intolerance. Teicoplanin may represent an alternative to vancomycin because of its acceptable bone penetration and possible subcutaneous administration.


Adults receiving teicoplanin for S. aureus BJI were included in a retrospective cohort study investigating intravenous or subcutaneous teicoplanin safety and pharmacokinetics.


Sixty-five S. aureus BJIs (orthopedic device-related infections, 69 %; methicillin-resistance, 17 %) were treated by teicoplanin at the initial dose of 5.7 mg/kg/day (IQR, 4.7-6.5) after a loading dose of 5 injections 12 h apart. The first trough teicoplanin level (Cmin) reached the therapeutic target (15 mg/L) in 26 % of patients, only. An overdose (Cmin >25 mg/L) was observed in 16 % patients, 50 % of which had chronic renal failure (p = 0.049). Seven adverse events occurred in 6 patients (10 %); no predictive factor could be highlighted. After a 91-week follow-up (IQR, 51-183), 27 treatment failures were observed (42 %), associated with diabetes (OR, 5.1; p = 0.057), systemic inflammatory disease (OR, 5.6; p = 0.043), and abscess (OR, 4.1; p < 10-3). A normal CRP-value at 1 month was protective (OR, 0.2; p = 0.029). Subcutaneous administration (n = 14) showed no difference in pharmacokinetics and tolerance compared to the intravenous route.


Teicoplanin constitutes a well-tolerated therapeutic alternative in S. aureus BJI, with a possible subcutaneous administration in outpatients. The loading dose might be increase to 9-12 mg/kg to quickly reach the therapeutic target, but tolerance of such higher doses remains to be evaluated, especially if using the subcutaneous route.
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