Chloroquine-azithromycin combination antimalarial treatment decreases risk of respiratory- and gastrointestinal-tract infections in Malawian children.
Chloroquine-azithromycin is being evaluated as combination therapy for malaria. It may provide added benefit in treating or preventing bacterial infections that occur in children with malaria.We aim to evaluate the effect of treating clinical malaria with chloroquine-azithromycin on the incidence of respiratory-tract and gastrointestinal-tract infections compared to treatment with chloroquine monotherapy.We compared the incidence density and time to first events of respiratory-tract and gastrointestinal-tract infections among children assigned to receive chloroquine-azithromycin or chloroquine for all symptomatic malaria episodes over the course of 1 year in a randomized longitudinal trial in Blantyre, Malawi.The incidence density ratios of total respiratory-tract infections and gastrointestinal-tract infections comparing chloroquine-azithromycin to chloroquine monotherapy were 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], .48, .94) and 0.74 (95% CI, .55, .99), respectively. The time to first lower-respiratory-tract and gastrointestinal-tract infections were significantly longer in the chloroquine-azithromycin arm compared to the chloroquine arm (P = .04 and P = .02, respectively).Children treated routinely with chloroquine-azithromycin had fewer respiratory and gastrointestinal-tract infections than those treated with chloroquine alone. This antimalarial combination has the potential to reduce the burden of bacterial infections among children in malaria-endemic countries.
Gilliams, EA; Jumare, J; Claassen, CW; Thesing, PC; Nyirenda, OM; Dzinjalamala, FK; Taylor, T; Plowe, CV; Tracy, LA; Laufer, MK
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