The efficacy of azithromycin and doxycycline for the treatment of rectal chlamydia infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, 2015, 70 (5), pp. 1290 - 1297
Issue Date:
2015-05
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There are increasing concerns about treatment failure following treatment for rectal chlamydia with 1 g of azithromycin. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the efficacy of 1 g of azithromycin as a single dose or 100 mg of doxycycline twice daily for 7 days for the treatment of rectal chlamydia.Medline, Embase, PubMed, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Register and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched to the end of April 2014. Studies using 1 g of azithromycin or 7 days of doxycycline for the treatment of rectal chlamydia were eligible. Gender, diagnostic test, serovar, symptomatic status, other sexually transmitted infections, follow-up time, attrition and microbial cure were extracted. Meta-analysis was used to calculate pooled (i) azithromycin and doxycycline efficacy and (ii) efficacy difference.All eight included studies were observational. The random-effects pooled efficacy for azithromycin (based on eight studies) was 82.9% (95% CI 76.0%-89.8%; I(2) = 71.0%; P < 0.01) and for doxycycline (based on five studies) was 99.6% (95% CI 98.6%-100%; I(2) = 0%; P = 0.571), resulting in a random-effects pooled efficacy difference (based on five studies) of 19.9% (95% CI 11.4%-28.3%; I(2) = 48.5%; P = 0.101) in favour of doxycycline.The efficacy of single-dose azithromycin may be considerably lower than 1 week of doxycycline for treating rectal chlamydia. However, the available evidence is very poor. Robust randomized controlled trials are urgently required.
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