Introduction: Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common infection leading to hospitalization and death in all age groups, especially in elderly populations. Increasing antibiotic resistance among the common bacterial pathogens associated with community-acquired pneumonia, especially Streptococcus pneumoniae and staphylococci, has made its empirical treatment increasingly problematic, highlighting the need for effective antibiotic therapy. Areas covered: We searched PubMed and ClinicalTrials.gov for English-language reports of phase III clinical trials conducted between 2000 and 2019 concerning the antibiotic treatment of community-acquired pneumonia. We provide a summary of the latest approved drugs for this indication and highlight emerging drugs with a potential indication. Expert opinion: Ceftaroline (a new cephalosporine) and omadacycline (a cycline alternative), either parenterally or orally, are the only two new antibiotics to have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia in the last five years. Among the antimicrobials in development, Lefamulin (the first pleuromutilin), is currently in phase III development. Among the known antibiotic classes, solithromycin (a macrolide), nemonoxacin (a quinolone), and delafloxacin and zabofloxacin (both fluoroquinolones), have been studied in phase II and III in clinical trials. The availability of these new antibiotics may offer opportunities to improve the empirical treatment for community-acquired pneumonia.
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