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February 22, 1985

Antibiotic Therapy for Vibrio vulnificus Infection

Author Affiliations

University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore

JAMA. 1985;253(8):1121-1122. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350320041011

To the Editor.—  We read with interest your recent review of current research on Vibrio vulnificus.1 However, we are concerned that there are inadequate clinical data on antibiotic efficacy to support fully the recommendation that "physicians presented with a case of V vulnificus infection should use penicillin or tetracycline, since the bacterium is susceptible to most antibiotics.1 These recommendations appear to be based on in vitro sensitivity data. In the absence of clinical confirmation of efficacy, such in vitro data can be misleading: to take a recent, well-publicized example, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is sensitive in vitro to cephalosporins, but patients have no clinical response to these drugs.Unfortunately, the available clinical data on V vulnificus are sketchy, with the one published report of a series of cases noting only that "there was little difference between patients who died and those who survived in the types of antibiotics used."2