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, Robert A Rubinstein, H. Washton

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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
StatePublished - 1997

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Polymyxins
Trachoma
Oxytetracycline
Azithromycin
Ointments
Infectious Keratoconjunctivitis
Bacterial Conjunctivitis
Direct Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Chlamydia trachomatis
Blindness
Therapeutics
Infection
Developing Countries
Suspensions
Appointments and Schedules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

A comparison of oral azithromycin with topical oxytetracycline/polymyxin for the treatment of trachoma in children. / Dawson, C. R.; Schachter, J.; Sallam, S.; Sheta, A.; Rubinstein, Robert A; Washton, H.

In: Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol. 24, No. 3, 1997, p. 363-368.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dawson, C. R. ; Schachter, J. ; Sallam, S. ; Sheta, A. ; Rubinstein, Robert A ; Washton, H. / A comparison of oral azithromycin with topical oxytetracycline/polymyxin for the treatment of trachoma in children. In: Clinical Infectious Diseases. 1997 ; Vol. 24, No. 3. pp. 363-368.
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