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In the era of broad spectrum antibiotics, is ampicillin still an option?


In the era of broad spectrum antibiotics it is sometimes difficult to choose the best antimicrobial regimens. Because of misuse and abuse of antimicrobial usage, the level of resistance is increasing and sometimes we do not have treatment options. Infectious diseases specialists traditionally have the leadership role in optimal use of antimicrobials. Antimicrobial stewardship represents a worldwide accepted concept in order to preserve currently available antibiotics.

Case report

We present 4 cases of severe sepsis with known etiology successfully treated with ampicillin. The first patient was diagnosed with enterococcal spondylodiscitis related to colon diverticulitis. The second patient was a pregnant woman who developed listeriosis. The third patient was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and the forth patient was diagnosed with bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia. We chose ampicillin because of its narrow antimicrobial spectrum, among therapeutic alternatives. A cost efficiency analysis was performed for each patient.


We emphasize the importance of microbiological diagnosis in order to use de-escalation. Ampicillin remains a very good option in severe infections produced by sensitive germs.

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Correspondence to Cristina Popescu.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Popescu, C., Popescu, GA., Lobodan, A. et al. In the era of broad spectrum antibiotics, is ampicillin still an option?. BMC Infect Dis 13 (Suppl 1), O14 (2013).

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