Prevention of maternal and neonatal death/infections with a single oral dose of azithromycin in women in labour in low-income and middle-income countries (A-PLUS): A study protocol for a multinational, randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial

Jennifer Hemingway-Foday, Alan Tita, Elwyn Chomba, Musaku Mwenechanya, Trecious Mweemba, Tracy Nolen, Adrien Lokangaka, Antoinette Tshefu Kitoto, Gustave Lomendje, Patricia L. Hibberd, Archana Patel, Prabir Kumar Das, Kunal Kurhe, Shivaprasad S. Goudar, Avinash Kavi, Mrityunjay Metgud, Sarah Saleem, Shiyam S. Tikmani, Fabian Esamai, Paul NyongesaAmos Sagwe, Lester Figueroa, Manolo Mazariegos, Sk Masum Billah, Rashidul Haque, Md Shahjahan Siraj, Robert L. Goldenberg, Melissa Bauserman, Carl Bose, Edward A. Liechty, Osayame A. Ekhaguere, Nancy F. Krebs, Richard Derman, William A. Petri, Marion Koso-Thomas, Elizabeth McClure, Waldemar A. Carlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction Maternal and neonatal infections are among the most frequent causes of maternal and neonatal mortality, and current antibiotic strategies have been ineffective in preventing many of these deaths. A randomised clinical trial conducted in a single site in The Gambia showed that treatment with an oral dose of 2 g azithromycin versus placebo for all women in labour reduced certain maternal and neonatal infections. However, it is unknown if this therapy reduces maternal and neonatal sepsis and mortality. In a large, multinational randomised trial, we will evaluate the impact of azithromycin given in labour to improve maternal and newborn outcomes. Methods and analysis This randomised, placebo-controlled, multicentre clinical trial includes two primary hypotheses, one maternal and one neonatal. The maternal hypothesis is to test whether a single, prophylactic intrapartum oral dose of 2 g azithromycin given to women in labour will reduce maternal death or sepsis. The neonatal hypothesis will test whether this intervention will reduce intrapartum/neonatal death or sepsis. The intervention is a single, prophylactic intrapartum oral dose of 2 g azithromycin, compared with a single intrapartum oral dose of an identical appearing placebo. A total of 34 000 labouring women from 8 research sites in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America will be randomised with a one-to-one ratio to intervention/placebo. In addition, we will assess antimicrobial resistance in a sample of women and their newborns. Ethics and dissemination The study protocol has been reviewed and ethics approval obtained from all the relevant ethical review boards at each research site. The results will be disseminated via peer-reviewed journals and national and international scientific forums. Trial registration number NCT03871491 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03871491?term=NCT03871491&draw=2&rank=1).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere068487
JournalBMJ Open
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Clinical trials
  • Maternal medicine
  • NEONATOLOGY
  • OBSTETRICS
  • PUBLIC HEALTH

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