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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2003 Feb;22(2):130-3.

Roxithromycin treatment of scrub typhus (tsutsugamushi disease) in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Although chloramphenicol and doxycycline have been used for the treatment of scrub typhus, a difficulty exists in determining which drug to use in treating children because of such potential complications as aplastic anemia or tooth discoloration. We evaluated the effect of roxithromycin, a macrolide antibiotic, on scrub typhus in children.


A retrospective analysis was conducted on 39 children with scrub typhus who were treated with doxycycline (DC), chloramphenicol (CM) or roxithromycin (RM) between 1991 and 2000. We divided the patients into the DC-treated group (DC group; 16 children), CM-treated group (CM group; 14 children) and RM- treated group (RM group; 9 children) and compared these groups.


Most cases (97%) occurred in October and November. Fever and rash were observed in all 39 cases, and an eschar was noted in 36 cases (92%). No statistical differences could be found between the 3 groups in mean age, duration of fever before admission, white blood cell (WBC) count and complications including abnormal liver enzymes. In most cases defervescence after treatment was within 24 h (34 cases, 87%) and during 24 to 48 h in 2 cases in the DC group, 1 case in the CM group and 2 cases in the RM group (no statistical difference).


Roxithromycin was as effective as conventional doxycycline or chloramphenicol in children with scrub typhus and may be safer to use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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