Current treatments for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections require intravenously delivered vancomycin; however, systemically delivered vancomycin has its problems. To determine the feasibility and safety of locally delivering vancomycin hydrochloride (~25 mg/Kg) to the medullary canal of long bones, we conducted a pharmacokinetics study using a rat tibia model. We found that administering the vancomycin intraosseously resulted in very low concentrations of vancomycin in the blood plasma and the muscle surrounding the tibia, reducing the risk for systemic toxicity, which is often seen with traditional intravenous administration of vancomycin. Additionally, we were able to inhibit the development of osteomyelitis in the tibia if the treatment was administered locally at the same time as a bacterial inoculum (i.e., Log10 7.82 CFU/mL or 6.62x107 CFU/mL), when compared to an untreated group. These findings suggest that local intramedullary vancomycin delivery can achieve sufficiently high local concentrations to prevent development of osteomyelitis while minimizing systemic toxicity.
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