Comparison of the Respiratory Resistomes and Microbiota in Children Receiving Short versus Standard Course Treatment for Community-Acquired Pneumonia.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Pediatric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is often treated with 10 days of antibiotics. Shorter treatment strategies may be effective and lead to less resistance. The impact of duration of treatment on the respiratory microbiome is unknown. Data are from children (n = 171), ages 6 to 71 months, enrolled in the SCOUT-CAP trial (NCT02891915). Children with CAP were randomized to a short (5 days) versus standard (10 days) beta-lactam treatment strategy. Throat swabs were collected at enrollment and the end of the study and used for shotgun metagenomic sequencing. The number of beta-lactam and multidrug efflux resistance genes per prokaryotic cell (RGPC) was significantly lower in children receiving the short compared to standard treatment strategy at the end of the study (Wilcoxon rank sum test, P < 0.05 for each). Wilcoxon effect sizes were small for beta-lactam (r: 0.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01 to 0.29) and medium for multidrug efflux RGPC (r: 0.23; 95% CI, 0.09 to 0.37). Analyses comparing the resistome at the beginning and end of the trial indicated that in contrast to the standard strategy group, the resistome significantly differed in children receiving the short course strategy. Relative abundances of commensals such as Neisseria subflava were higher in children receiving the standard strategy, and Prevotella species and Veillonella parvula were higher in children receiving the short course strategy. We conclude that children receiving 5 days of beta-lactam therapy for CAP had a significantly lower abundance of antibiotic resistance determinants than those receiving standard 10-day treatment. These data provide an additional rationale for reductions in antibiotic use when feasible. IMPORTANCE Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Treatment strategies involving shorter antibiotic courses have been proposed as a strategy to lower the potential for antibiotic resistance. We examined relationships between the duration of antibiotic treatment and its impact on resistance genes and bacteria in the respiratory microbiome using data from a randomized controlled trial of beta-lactam therapy for pediatric pneumonia. The randomized design provides reliable evidence of the effectiveness of interventions and minimizes the potential for confounding. Children receiving 5 days of therapy for pneumonia had a lower prevalence of two different types of resistance genes than did those receiving the 10-day treatment. Our data also suggest that children receiving longer durations of therapy have a greater abundance of antibiotic resistance genes for a longer period of time than do children receiving shorter durations of therapy. These data provide an additional rationale for reductions in antibiotic use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pettigrew, MM; Kwon, J; Gent, JF; Kong, Y; Wade, M; Williams, DJ; Creech, CB; Evans, S; Pan, Q; Walter, EB; Martin, JM; Gerber, JS; Newland, JG; Hofto, ME; Staat, MA; Fowler, VG; Chambers, HF; Huskins, WC; Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group,

Published Date

  • April 26, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • e0019522 -

PubMed ID

  • 35323040

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9040816

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2150-7511

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1128/mbio.00195-22


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States