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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011 Jul;17(7):1084-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2010.03395.x. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

Clarithromycin and amikacin vs. clarithromycin and moxifloxacin for the treatment of post-acupuncture cutaneous infections due to Mycobacterium abscessus: a prospective observational study.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.


An outbreak of post-acupuncture cutaneous infections due to Mycobacterium abscessus occurred in Ansan, Korea, from November 2007 through to May 2008. During this time a prospective, observational, non-randomized study was conducted involving 52 patients that were diagnosed with cutaneous M. abscessus infection. We compared the clinical response between patients treated with clarithromycin plus amikacin regimen and those treated with clarithromycin plus moxifloxacin regimens with regard to time to resolution of the cutaneous lesions. Among the 52 study patients, 33 were treated with clarithromycin plus amikacin, and 19 were treated with clarithromycin plus moxifloxacin. The baseline characteristics for the treatment groups were not significantly different, except for initial surgical excision (n = 27 vs. 6, respectively, p = 0.001). The median time (weeks) to resolution of the lesions in the clarithromycin plus moxifloxacin-treated subjects was significantly shorter than that in the clarithromycin plus amikacin-treated subjects (17 ± 1.1 vs. 20 ± 0.9, respectively, p = 0.017). With adjustments for age, location of lesions, prior incision and drainage, and excision during medical therapy, clarithromycin plus moxifloxacin-treated subjects were more likely to have resolved lesions (hazard ratio, 0.387; 95% confidence interval, 0.165-0.907; p = 0.029). The frequency of drug-related adverse events in the two treatment groups was not significantly different (n = 18 vs. 14, respectively; p = 0.240). The most common adverse event was gastrointestinal discomfort. The results of our study showed that the combination regimen of clarithromycin and moxifloxacin resulted in a better clinical response than a regimen of clarithromycin plus amikacin when used for treatment of cutaneous M. abscessus infection.

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