Low efficacy of azithromycin to treat cutaneous leishmaniasis in Manaus, AM, Brazil

Azitromicina para tratamento de leishmaniose cutânea em Manaus, AM, Brasil

An open trial to evaluate the azithromycin efficacy in cutaneous leishmaniasis patients was carried out in Manaus (AM), where Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis is the main etiologic agent. Forty-one patients with skin lesions of less than 12 weeks duration, without specific treatment for the last three months and a positive imprint to Leishmania sp. were included. From these, 31 (75.6%) were male with median age of 30.2. All of them received a daily-single oral dose of 500 mg of azithromycin for ten days. At 25th day, 16 (39%) presented therapeutic failure and received intramuscular pentavalent antimonial, four were considered lost, 21, that had improved or were inaltered received another ten-day series of azithromycin and were monthly followed, but nine (21.9%) of them presented a poor clinical response and switched to intramuscular pentavalent antimonial on day 55. Of the 12 remaining cases evaluated on day 55, despite of clinical improvement, three asked for antimony therapy and 9 (21.9%) continued the follow-up but, only three were cured on 55th, 85th and 115th days, and six did not come back for final evaluation. The intention-treatment overall response rate was 22% and whole cure was seen in three (7.3%) of cases. Thus, azithromycin showed a low efficacy to treat cutaneous leishmaniasis in Manaus.

Azithromycin; Cutaneous leishmaniasis; Antimony; Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis

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