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Scand J Infect Dis. 2001;33(6):466-9.

Early bactericidal activity of amoxicillin in combination with clavulanic acid in patients with sputum smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis.

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Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa.


The early bactericidal activity (EBA) of an antituberculosis agent is the rate of decrease in viable colony-forming units (CFU) per milliliter of sputum during the first 2 d of treatment of patients with previously untreated smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis. The objective of this open randomized study was to evaluate the EBA of the combination of amoxicillin 3 g and clavulanic acid 750 mg. Ten patients with a mean age of 34 y and a mean weight of 56 kg received amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and 5 patients with a mean age of 34 y and a mean weight of 57 kg received no drug. In the patients receiving 1 dose of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid daily for 2 d the mean log10CFU/ml of sputum before treatment was 6.7402 (SD 0.539) and after 2 d of treatment 6.7046 (SD 0.609); the corresponding values in patients receiving no drug were 6.7823 (SD 0.563) and 6.7502 (SD 0.673), respectively. The EBA of 0.018 (SD 0.130) in patients receiving amoxicillin/clavulanic acid did not differ significantly from that of 0.016 (SD 0.069) in patients receiving no drug. It is unlikely that the combination of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid has an important place in the treatment of tuberculosis with the exception of those patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis who are otherwise therapeutically destitute.

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