Fluoroquinolones for treating typhoid and paratyphoid fever (enteric fever).

D. Thaver, A. K. Zaidi, J. Critchley, S. A. Madni, Z. A. Bhutta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Fluoroquinolones are recommended as first-line therapy for typhoid and paratyphoid fever, but how they compare with other cheaper antibiotics and different fluoroquinolones is unclear. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate fluoroquinolone antibiotics for treating enteric fever in children and adults compared with other antibiotics, different fluoroquinolones, and different treatment durations of the same fluoroquinolone. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register (August 2004), CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2004), MEDLINE (1966 to August 2004), EMBASE (1974 to August 2004), LILACS (1982 to August 2004), conference proceedings, reference lists, and contacted researchers. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials of fluoroquinolones in people with blood or bone marrow culture-confirmed enteric fever. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently assessed the methodological quality of trials and extracted data. We calculated the odds ratio (OR) for dichotomous data with 95% confidence intervals. We analysed norfloxacin separately. MAIN RESULTS: Thirty-three trials met the inclusion criteria; 22 had unclear allocation concealment, and 29 were not blinded. Three trials exclusively included children, and two studied outpatients. The main analysis examined clinical failure, microbiological failure, and relapse. Compared with chloramphenicol, fluoroquinolones were not statistically significantly different for clinical (544 participants) or microbiological failure (378 participants) in adults; they reduced clinically diagnosed relapse in adults (OR 0.14, 0.04 to 0.50; 467 participants, 6 trials), but this was not statistically significant in participants with blood culture-confirmed relapse (121 participants, 2 trials). Compared with co-trimoxazole, we detected no statistically significant difference (82 participants, 2 trials). Among adults, fluoroquinolones reduced clinical failure compared with ceftriaxone (OR 0.08, 0.01 to 0.45; 120 participants, 3 trials), but showed no difference for microbiological failure or relapse. We detected no statistically significant difference between fluoroquinolones and cefixime (80 participants, 1 trial) or azithromycin (152 participants, 2 trials). In trials of hospitalized children, fluoroquinolones were not statistically significantly different from ceftriaxone (60 participants, 1 trial, involving norfloxacin) or cefixime (82 participants, 1 trial). Norfloxacin had more clinical failures than other fluoroquinolones (417 participants, 5 trials). Trials comparing different durations of fluoroquinolone treatment showed no statistically significant differences (693 participants, 8 trials). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Many trials were small, and methodological quality varied widely. Although enteric fever most commonly affects children, trials in this group were particularly sparse. Insufficient data in all comparisons preclude any firm conclusions to be made regarding superiority of fluoroquinolones over first-line antibiotics in children and adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)CD004530
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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