image of Biannual Treatment of Preschool Children with Single Dose Azithromycin to Reduce Mortality: Impact on Azithromycin Resistance in the MORDOR Trial in Tanzania
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The study showed that administration of biannual, single-dose azithromycin to preschool children reduces mortality. We sought to evaluate its impact on azithromycin resistance. Thirty randomly selected communities in Kilosa district, Tanzania, were randomized to receive 6-monthly single-dose azithromycin (∼20 mg/kg) versus placebo treatment of children aged 1–59 months. From each community, 40 children (aged 1–59 months) were randomly selected at baseline, 12 and 24 months. Isolation and resistance testing of and were evaluated using nasopharyngeal and rectal swabs, respectively. The carriage prevalence and the proportion of azithromycin-resistant isolates were determined using disk diffusion. At baseline, the characteristics of the randomly selected children were similar by treatment arms. Both at baseline and in annual cross-sectional surveys, rates of and isolation between treatment arms were similar. The proportions of azithromycin-resistant isolates in the children in communities treated with azithromycin versus placebo at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months were 26.5% (18.1%; = 0.26), 26.8% (16.5%; = 0.29), and 13.4% (17.0%; = 0.57), respectively. The proportions of azithromycin-resistant isolates at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months in the azithromycin (versus placebo) arms were 14.9% (18.9%; = 0.16), 21.5% (16.6%; = 0.10), and 14.9% (14.7%; = 0.95), respectively. Over the 24 months, the mean treatment coverage for the azithromycin and placebo was 76.9% and 74.8%, respectively ( = 0.49). Biannual administration of single-dose azithromycin to children did not appear to result in excess azithromycin resistance in and isolates over 24 months of follow-up.

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


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  • Received : 28 Jan 2019
  • Accepted : 02 Aug 2019
  • Published online : 17 Feb 2020
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