Randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of oral azithromycin prophylaxis against respiratory infections in a high-risk, young adult population

Gregory C. Gray, Peter J. Witucki, Mark T. Gould, Stephen J. Bell, Katia M. Hiliopoulos, Jamie A. McKeehan, Julie M. Fuller, Christopher P. Barrozo, Marie K. Hudspeth, Tyler C. Smith, Elizabeth K. Ledbetter, Mark R. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Military Special Forces trainees undergo intense psychological and physical stressors that often lead to respiratory infection. During 1998-2000, 477 Navy Special Forces trainees were enrolled in a double-blind trial of oral azithromycin (1 g given weekly) plus a placebo injection, compared with benzathine penicillin G (1.2 million U) plus azithromycin placebo tablets. Among the 464 subjects with complete data, 44 developed acute respiratory infection (20 with pneumonia) during the 2 weeks of most intense training; of these subjects, 12 (27.3%) had evidence of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and 7 (15.9%) had evidence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. Trainees who received azithromycin were less likely than were trainees who received benzathine penicillin G to develop acute respiratory infection (risk ratio, 0.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-0.92) and less likely at the end of training to report episodes of breathing difficulty (odds ratio [OR], 0.59; 95% CI, 0.34-1.01) or sore throat (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.41-1.05). Compared with benzathine penicillin G prophylaxis, weekly oral azithromycin was superior in preventing respiratory infection in this population at transient high risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-989
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume33
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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