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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Oct 1;10:CD011701.

Antibiotic treatment for the sexual partners of women with bacterial vaginosis.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection that has a prevalence between 10% to 50% worlwide. BV results in an imbalance of the normal vaginal flora. Microorganisms associated with BV have been isolated from the normal flora of the male genital tract, and their presence could be related to the recurrence of BV after antibiotic treatment. Therefore, the treatment of sexual partners could decrease the recurrence of infection and possibly the burden of the disease.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the effectiveness in women and the safety in men of concurrent antibiotic treatment for the sexual partners of women treated for BV.

SEARCH METHODS:

We searched the Cochrane Sexually Transmitted Infections Group Specialized Register (23 July 2016), CENTRAL (1991 to 23 July 2016), MEDLINE (1946 to 23 July 2016), Embase (1974 to 23 July 2016), LILACS (1982 to 23 July 2016), the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (23 July 2016), ClinicalTrials.gov (23 July 2016) and the Web of Science™ (2001 to 23 July 2016). We also handsearched conference proceedings, contacted trial authors and reviewed the reference lists of retrieved studies.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared the concurrent use of any antibiotic treatment with placebo, no intervention or any other intervention by the sexual partners of women treated for BV.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Three review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion, extracted data and assessed the risk of bias in the included studies. We resolved any disagreements through consensus. We assessed the quality of the evidence using the GRADE approach.

MAIN RESULTS:

Seven RCTs (1026 participants) met our inclusion criteria, and pharmaceutical industry funded four of these trials. Five trials (854 patients) compared any antibiotic treatment of sexual partners with placebo. Based on high quality evidence, antibiotic treatment does not increase the rate of clinical or symptomatic improvement in women during the first week (risk ratio (RR) 0.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96 to 1.03; 712 participants, four studies; RR 1.06, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.12; 577 patients, three studies, respectively), between the first and fourth week (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.11; 590 participants, three studies; RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.03; 444 participants, two studies; respectively) or after the fourth week (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.07; 572 participants, four studies; RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.17; 296 participants, two studies; respectively). Antibiotic treatment does not led to a lower recurrence during the first and fourth week (RR 1.28, 95% CI 0.68 to 2.43; 218 participants, one study; low quality evidence) or after the fourth week of treatment (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.52; 372 participants, three studies; low quality evidence) in women, but increases the frequency of adverse events (most frequently gastrointestinal symptoms) reported by sexual partners (RR 2.55, 95% CI 1.55 to 4.18; 477 participants, three studies; low quality evidence). Two trials (172 participants) compared any antibiotic treatment for sexual partners with no intervention. When we compared it with no intervention, the effects of antibiotic treatment on recurrence rate after the fourth week (RR 1.71, 95% CI 0.65 to 4.55; 51 participants, one study), clinical improvement between the first and fourth week (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.70 to 1.25; 152 participants, two studies) and symptomatic improvement after the fourth week (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.39 to 1.11; 70 participants, one study) were imprecise and there were no differences between groups. We downgraded the quality of the evidence to low or very low.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:

High quality evidence shows that antibiotic treatment for sexual partners of women with BV, compared with placebo, does not increase the rate of clinical or symptomatic improvement during the first, between the first and fourth or after the fourth week into the women. Low quality evidence suggests that antibiotic treatment does not led to a lower recurrence rate during the first and fourth or after the fourth week of treatment into the women, but increases the frequency of adverse events reported by sexual partners. Finally, compared with no intervention, antibiotic treatment does not decrease the recurrence rate after the fourth week and does not increase the frequency of clinical or symptomatic improvement between the first and fourth or after the fourth week into the women, respectively.

PMID:
27696372
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD011701.pub2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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