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N Engl J Med. 1984 Feb 23;310(8):497-500.

An efficacy trial of doxycycline chemoprophylaxis against leptospirosis.


Because leptospirosis has been an important cause of morbidity in U.S. soldiers training in the Republic of Panama, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled field trial during the fall of 1982 to determine whether doxycycline was an effective chemoprophylactic agent against this infection. Doxycycline (200 mg) or placebo was administered orally on a weekly basis and at the completion of training to 940 volunteers from two U.S. Army units deployed in Panama for approximately three weeks of jungle training. Twenty cases of leptospirosis occurred in the placebo group (an attack rate of 4.2 per cent), as compared with only one case in the doxycycline group (attack rate, 0.2 per cent, P less than 0.001), yielding an efficacy of 95.0 per cent. This study demonstrated the value of doxycycline as a prophylactic drug against leptospirosis.

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