Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Oral Azithromycin Prophylaxis Against Respiratory Infections in a High-Risk, Young Adult Population
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Special Forces military trainees undergo intense psychological and physical stressors that often lead to respiratory disease and soft tissue infections, including necrotizing fasciitis. In an effort to prevent such morbidity, from September 1998 to March 2000, 477 Navy Special Forces trainees were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The trial compared 1 g weekly oral azithromycin plus a placebo injection with 1.2 million units benzathine penicillin G BPG plus azithromycin placebo tablets as prophylaxis against acute respiratory illness and cellulitis. Subjects were closely observed for the 2 weeks of training when stressors were the most intense. Among the 464 with near-complete data, 44 developed acute respiratory disease 20 with radiographic evidence of pneumonia, and 57 developed cellulitis or folliculitis requiring antibiotics. Twelve 27.3 of the 44 patients with acute respiratory disease had evidence of C. pneumoniae infection and 818.2 had evidence of M. pneumoniae infection. Trainees receiving azithromycin were less likely to develop acute respiratory disease.
- Medicine and Medical Research