Pharyngeal colonization prevalence rates for Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae in a respiratory chemoprophylaxis intervention study using azithromycin.
OBJECTIVES: A prospective assessment of the pharyngeal colonization prevalence rates for Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae before and after an azithromycin chemoprophylaxis intervention clinical trial in a cohort of US Marine Corps trainees. In addition, the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for all streptococcal isolates, for azithromycin, penicillin, erythromycin and cefotaxime are reported. METHODS: Between November 1994 and March 1995, 1108 asymptomatic male US Marine Corps trainees, located in Southern California, were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: (1) weekly oral azithromycin, 500 mg (n = 362); (2) 1.2 MU benzathine penicillin G, intramuscularly once (n = 374); or (3) no chemoprophylaxis (n = 372). Subjects provided both a pre- and post-training pharyngeal culture and microbial analysis was conducted to determine the colonization status of each study subject. RESULTS: The pretraining colonization prevalence was 1.2% for S. pneumoniae and 2.4% for S. pyogenes. There was no statistical difference in pretraining prevalence between the three treatment groups for either organism. Post-training pharyngeal cultures revealed an overall prevalence of 1.1% with no difference between treatment arms. However, the overall post-training prevalence of S. pyogenes colonization increased to 4.8%, with the azithromycin group having significant evidence of protection (0.7%) in comparison with the no-treatment group (8.2%). The Etest method demonstrated no significant difference in the MIC50, MIC90, and MIC ranges between pre- and post-training isolates for any of the tested drugs. CONCLUSION: The use of azithromycin as a chemoprophylactic agent to reduce the colonization and subsequent infection of streptococcal respiratory disease among healthy adult male military recruits may be beneficial.
Putnam, SD; Gray, GC; Biedenbach, DJ; Jones, RN
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