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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Doxycycline plus streptomycin versus ciprofloxacin plus rifampicin in spinal brucellosis [ISRCTN31053647]

Emine Alp1*, Rahmi Kemal Koc2, Ahmet Candan Durak3, Orhan Yildiz1, Bilgehan Aygen1, Bulent Sumerkan4 and Mehmet Doganay1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey

2 Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey

3 Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey

4 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:72  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-72

Published: 11 April 2006

Abstract

Background

The optimal treatment regimen and duration of the therapy is still controversial in spinal brucellosis. The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy, adverse drug reactions, complications and cost of ciprofloxacin plus rifampicin versus doxycycline plus streptomycin in the treatment of spinal brucellosis.

Methods

The patients diagnosed as spinal brucellosis between January 2002 to December 2004 were enrolled into the study. Patients were enrolled into the two antimicrobial therapy groups (doxycycline plus streptomycin vs. ciprofloxacin plus rifampicin) consecutively. For the cost analysis of the two regimens, only the cost of antibiotic therapy was analysed for each patient.

Results

During the study period, 31 patients with spinal brucellosis were enrolled into the two antimicrobial therapy groups. Fifteen patients were included in doxycycline plus streptomycin group and 16 patients were included in ciprofloxacin plus rifampicin group. Forty-two levels of spinal column were involved in 31 patients. The most common affected site was lumbar spine (n = 32, 76%) and involvement level was not different in two groups. Despite the disadvantages (older age, more prevalent operation and abscess formation before the therapy) of the patients in the ciprofloxacin plus rifampicin group, the duration of the therapy (median 12 weeks in both groups) and clinical response were not different from the doxycycline plus streptomycin. The cost of ciprofloxacin plus rifampicin therapy was 1.2 fold higher than the cost of doxycycline plus streptomycin therapy.

Conclusion

Classical regimen (doxycycline plus streptomycin), with the appropriate duration (at least 12 weeks), is still the first line antibiotics and alternative therapies should be considered when adverse drug reactions were observed.