A clinical trial comparing oral azithromycin, cefixime and no antibiotics in the treatment of acute uncomplicated Salmonella enteritis in children


Ch Chiu Division of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Chang Gung Children’s Hospital, 5 Fu-Shin Street, Kweishan 333, Taoyuan, Taiwan. Fax: 886 33288957


Objective: The objective of this study was to perform a prospective, randomized, controlled study to evaluate the role of azithromycin and cefixime in the treatment of uncomplicated non-typhoid Salmonella enteritis in children.

Methodology: Patients with Salmonella enteritis were randomized to receive oral azithromycin (10 mg/kg/day once daily), cefixime (10 mg/kg/day divided twice daily) or no antibiotics for 5 days. The patients were followed up for the duration of their symptoms. Stool samples were sent for culture weekly following the therapy until two consecutive negative results were obtained. Susceptibility of the isolates to antibiotics was tested by the disk diffusion method.

Results: Forty-two patients with acute, uncomplicated, culture-confirmed Salmonella enteritis were studied. Duration of diarrhoea and time to defervescence after the therapy were not significantly different for patients treated with azithromycin, cefixime, or no antibiotics; there also were no significant differences with respect to the rate of clearance of Salmonella from stools among the three groups. Salmonella typhimurium was the most common serotype isolated. All 42 isolates were sensitive to cefixime, while two strains (5%) were resistant to azithromycin.

Conclusions: Azithromycin or cefixime provides no benefit to paediatric patient with uncomplicated Salmonella enteritis.