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J Infect Dis. 2000 Apr;181(4):1501-5. Epub 2000 Apr 13.

Increased carriage of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in Malawian children after treatment for malaria with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine.

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  • 1Respiratory Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Treatment of malaria with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine and of presumed bacterial infections with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (cotrimoxazole) was assessed to see if either increases the carriage of cotrimoxazole-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in Malawian children. Children <5 years old treated with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, cotrimoxazole, or no antimicrobial agent were enrolled in a prospective observational study. Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken before treatment and 1 and 4 weeks later. Pneumococci were tested for antibiotic susceptibility by broth microdilution. In sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine-treated children, the proportion colonized with cotrimoxazole-nonsusceptible pneumococci increased from 38.1% at the initial visit to 44.1% at the 4-week follow-up visit (P=.048). For cotrimoxazole-treated children, the proportion colonized with cotrimoxazole-nonsusceptible pneumococci increased from 41.5% at the initial visit to 52% at the 1-week follow-up visit (P=.0017) and returned to 41.7% at the 4-week follow-up. Expanding use of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine to treat chloroquine-resistant malaria may have implications for national pneumonia programs in developing countries where cotrimoxazole is widely used.

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