Ketolides are semisynthetic 14-membered-ring macrolides, differ-ing from erythromycin by substitution of a 3-keto group for the neutral sugar l-cladinose. Telithromycin is approved for limited clinical use. It is active in vitro against Streptococcus pyogenes,S pneumoniae, S aureus, H influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycoplasma sp, L pneumophila, Chlamydia sp, H pylori, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, B fragilis, T gondii, and certain nontuberculosis mycobacteria. Many macrolide-resistant strains are susceptible to ketolides because the structural modification of these compounds renders them poor substrates for efflux pump-mediated resistance, and they bind to ribosomes of some bacterial species with higher affinity than macrolides.
Oral bioavailability of telithromycin is 57%, and tissue and intracellular penetration is generally good. Telithromycin is metabolized in the liver and eliminated by a combination of biliary and urinary routes of excretion. It is administered as a once-daily dose of 800 mg, which results in peak serum concen-trations of approximately 2 mcg/mL. It is a reversible inhibitor of the CYP3A4 enzyme system and may slightly prolong the QTc interval. In the USA, telithromycin is now indicated only for treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. Other respiratory tract infections were removed as indications when it was recognized that use of telithromycin can result in hepatitis and liver failure.