A comparison of oral azithromycin with topical oxytetracycline/polymyxin for the treatment of trachoma in children

C. R. Dawson, J. Schachter, S. Sallam, A. Sheta, R. A. Rubinstein, H. Washton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trachoma, an infectious keratoconjunctivitis caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, is a leading cause of preventable blindness in developing countries. In this study we compared oral azithromycin with oxytetracycline/polymyxin eye ointment (once daily for 5 days every 4 weeks; total of six treatment cycles) for the treatment of active endemic trachoma in 168 rural Egyptian children. A suspension of azithromycin was administered to children as a dose of 20 mg/kg by one of three schedules: a single dose, one dose a week for 3 weeks, and one dose every 4 weeks for a total of six doses. The children's clinical status and chlamydial infection rates were evaluated for 1 year. The clinical cure rates were 35% 2 months after initial treatment, 16% at 8 months (during the annual autumn epidemic of purulent conjunctivitis), and 47% at 1 year. The pretreatment chlamydial infection rate of 33% (determined by direct immunofluorescence) decreased to 5% at 2 months and was 9% at 12 months. There were no significant clinical or laboratory differences among the four treatment groups. Thus, 1-6 doses of azithromycin were equivalent to 30 days of topical oxytetracycline/polymyxin ointment and may offer an effective alternative means of controlling endemic trachoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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