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Long Term Streptomycin Toxicity in the Treatment of Buruli Ulcer: Follow-up of Participants in the BURULICO Drug Trial

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      BackgroundBuruli Ulcer (BU) is a tropical infectious skin disease that is currently treated with 8 weeks of intramuscular streptomycin and oral rifampicin. As prolonged streptomycin administration can cause both oto- and nephrotoxicity, we evaluated its long term toxicity by following-up former BU patients that had received either 4 or 8 weeks of streptomycin in addition to other drugs between 2006 and 2008, in the context of a randomized controlled trial.MethodsFormer patients were retrieved in 2012, and oto- and nephrotoxicity were determined by audiometry and serum creatinine levels. Data were compared with baseline and week 8 measurements during the drug trial.ResultsOf the total of 151 former patients, 127 (84%) were retrieved. Ototoxicity was present in 29% of adults and 25% of children. Adults in the 8 week streptomycin group had significantly higher hearing thresholds in all frequencies at long term follow-up, and these differences were most prominent in the high frequencies. In children, no differences between the two treatment arms were found. Nephrotoxicity that had been detected in 14% of adults and in 13% of children during treatment, was present in only 2.4% of patients at long term follow-up.ConclusionsProlonged streptomycin administration in the adult study subjects caused significant persistent hearing loss, especially in the high frequency range. Nephrotoxicity was also present in both adults and children but appeared to be transient. Streptomycin should be given with caution especially in patients aged 16 or older, and in individuals with concurrent risks for renal dysfunction or hearing loss.

      Author Summary

      Buruli Ulcer is an infectious skin disease, mainly occurring in West Africa. Previously, the disease was treated exclusively by surgery, but in the last decade, effective treatment with antibiotics has been established. The WHO recommended regimen consists of 8 weeks of oral rifampicin combined with intramuscular streptomycin. However, prolonged use of streptomycin is known to cause permanent ototoxicity and transient nephrotoxicity. To study this, we performed audiometry and measured the serum creatinine in 127 former Buruli ulcer patients who received either 4 or 8 weeks of streptomycin 4 to 6 years ago. Ototoxicity was present in 29% of adults and 25% of children. Adults who received 8 weeks of streptomycin had significantly worse hearing at long term follow-up, and this was most prominent in the high frequencies. In children, no differences between the two groups were found. Nephrotoxicity that had been detected in 14% of adults and in 13% of children during treatment, was present in only 2.4% of patients at long term follow-up. The findings indicate that caution should be exercised when prescribing streptomycin to adults for prolonged periods of time. Treatment regimens for Buruli ulcer that do not contain streptomycin are desirable and should be investigated.

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      Most cited references 31

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      Equations to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR) are routinely used to assess kidney function. Current equations have limited precision and systematically underestimate measured GFR at higher values. To develop a new estimating equation for GFR: the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation. Cross-sectional analysis with separate pooled data sets for equation development and validation and a representative sample of the U.S. population for prevalence estimates. Research studies and clinical populations ("studies") with measured GFR and NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), 1999 to 2006. 8254 participants in 10 studies (equation development data set) and 3896 participants in 16 studies (validation data set). Prevalence estimates were based on 16,032 participants in NHANES. GFR, measured as the clearance of exogenous filtration markers (iothalamate in the development data set; iothalamate and other markers in the validation data set), and linear regression to estimate the logarithm of measured GFR from standardized creatinine levels, sex, race, and age. In the validation data set, the CKD-EPI equation performed better than the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation, especially at higher GFR (P < 0.001 for all subsequent comparisons), with less bias (median difference between measured and estimated GFR, 2.5 vs. 5.5 mL/min per 1.73 m(2)), improved precision (interquartile range [IQR] of the differences, 16.6 vs. 18.3 mL/min per 1.73 m(2)), and greater accuracy (percentage of estimated GFR within 30% of measured GFR, 84.1% vs. 80.6%). In NHANES, the median estimated GFR was 94.5 mL/min per 1.73 m(2) (IQR, 79.7 to 108.1) vs. 85.0 (IQR, 72.9 to 98.5) mL/min per 1.73 m(2), and the prevalence of chronic kidney disease was 11.5% (95% CI, 10.6% to 12.4%) versus 13.1% (CI, 12.1% to 14.0%). The sample contained a limited number of elderly people and racial and ethnic minorities with measured GFR. The CKD-EPI creatinine equation is more accurate than the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation and could replace it for routine clinical use. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
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          Acute exacerbations adversely affect patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Macrolide antibiotics benefit patients with a variety of inflammatory airway diseases. We performed a randomized trial to determine whether azithromycin decreased the frequency of exacerbations in participants with COPD who had an increased risk of exacerbations but no hearing impairment, resting tachycardia, or apparent risk of prolongation of the corrected QT interval. A total of 1577 subjects were screened; 1142 (72%) were randomly assigned to receive azithromycin, at a dose of 250 mg daily (570 participants), or placebo (572 participants) for 1 year in addition to their usual care. The rate of 1-year follow-up was 89% in the azithromycin group and 90% in the placebo group. The median time to the first exacerbation was 266 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 227 to 313) among participants receiving azithromycin, as compared with 174 days (95% CI, 143 to 215) among participants receiving placebo (P<0.001). The frequency of exacerbations was 1.48 exacerbations per patient-year in the azithromycin group, as compared with 1.83 per patient-year in the placebo group (P=0.01), and the hazard ratio for having an acute exacerbation of COPD per patient-year in the azithromycin group was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.63 to 0.84; P<0.001). The scores on the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (on a scale of 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating better functioning) improved more in the azithromycin group than in the placebo group (a mean [±SD] decrease of 2.8±12.8 vs. 0.6±11.4, P=0.004); the percentage of participants with more than the minimal clinically important difference of -4 units was 43% in the azithromycin group, as compared with 36% in the placebo group (P=0.03). Hearing decrements were more common in the azithromycin group than in the placebo group (25% vs. 20%, P=0.04). Among selected subjects with COPD, azithromycin taken daily for 1 year, when added to usual treatment, decreased the frequency of exacerbations and improved quality of life but caused hearing decrements in a small percentage of subjects. Although this intervention could change microbial resistance patterns, the effect of this change is not known. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; number, NCT00325897.).

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease Service, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
            [2 ]Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
            [3 ]Agogo Presbyterian Hospital, Agogo, Ghana
            [4 ]Nkawie-Toase Government Hospital, Nkawie, Ghana
            [5 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
            Fondation Raoul Follereau, France
            Author notes

            The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            Conceived and designed the experiments: TSvdW YS SK ROP. Performed the experiments: SK WT KMA. Analyzed the data: SK TSvdW YS. Wrote the paper: SK TSvdW YS.

            Role: Editor
            PLoS Negl Trop Dis
            PLoS Negl Trop Dis
            PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            March 2014
            13 March 2014
            : 8
            : 3

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Pages: 7
            SK was supported by an MD/PhD grant of the Junior Scientific Masterclass, Groningen University. YS was supported by a VENI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The authors declare that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest in the subject matter discussed in this manuscript. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
            Research Article
            Infectious Diseases
            Neglected Tropical Diseases
            Buruli Ulcer

            Infectious disease & Microbiology


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