In the face of increasing incidence of multi-drug resistant implant infections, local antibiotic modalities are receiving increased attention for both infection prophylaxis and treatment. Local antibiotic therapy that achieves very high antibiotic drug concentrations at the site of the implant may represent an avenue for treatment of biofilm-forming bacterial pathogens. Randomized controlled trials in human patients have demonstrated an infection risk reduction when antibiotic-impregnated cement is used for infection prophylaxis in implanted joint prostheses, and when a gentamicin-impregnated collagen sponge is used for infection prophylaxis in midline sternotomy. The other modalities discussed have for the most part yet to be evaluated in randomized controlled trials in veterinary or human patients. In general, the in vivo pharmacokinetics and appropriate dosing profiles for local antibiotic modalities have yet to be elucidated. Toxicity is possible, and attention to the dose applied is warranted.
2013 Jul 15