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Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Apr;26(4):874-7.

Activity of amoxicillin/clavulanate in patients with tuberculosis.

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Medical Service, San Francisco General Hospital, California, USA.


Some beta-lactam antibiotics are active in vitro against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are anecdotal reports of successful treatment of tuberculosis caused by multiple-drug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis with regimens that included amoxicillin/clavulanate. Reduction of M. tuberculosis in the sputum of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis during administration of amoxicillin/clavulanate was measured by a quantitative culture method to determine the activity in vivo. Patients were randomized to receive isoniazid, ofloxacin, or amoxicillin/clavulanate for 7 days. Isoniazid was the most effective agent, reducing M. tuberculosis after 2 days at a mean rate (+/- standard deviation) of 0.60 +/- 0.30 log10 cfu/mL per day, compared with 0.32 +/- 0.05 and 0.34 +/- 0.03 for ofloxacin and amoxicillin/clavulanate, respectively. The early bactericidal activity of amoxicillin/clavulanate was comparable to that reported for antituberculous agents other than isoniazid. Further studies of beta-lactam antibiotics with in vitro activity against M. tuberculosis are warranted to define their role in treatment of tuberculosis.

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