JOURNAL ARTICLE

Treatment of brucellosis: a systematic review of studies in recent twenty years

Seyed Mohammad Alavi, Leila Alavi
Caspian Journal of Internal Medicine 2013, 4 (2): 636-41
24009951

BACKGROUND: The treatment of human brucellosis is controversial. The purpose of this study was to search published clinical trial papers to provide a simple and effective treatment in brucellosis.

METHODS: Many studies on brucellosis treatment in a twenty- year span from 1993 to 2012 were searched in PubMed, Web of Science (ISI), Scopus, Google Scholar, Magiran, Iranmedex and SID. The studies that were searched and classified in groups according to combination therapy and monotherapy and their results in treatment outcome were compared. Regimens with lower treatment failure or relapse were considered as more suitable for brucellosis treatment.

RESULTS: The comparison of combined doxycycline and rifampicin (DR) with a doxycycline plus streptomycin (DS) favors the latter regimen. The combined doxycycline/cotrimoxazole (DCTM) showed similar effect with DR. The treatment with the combined regimen including quinolones was similar to DR but with higher relapse rates. Higher relapse rate was searched in monotherapy (13% vs. 4.8%) and in short-term (less than 4 weeks) treatment regimen (22% vs. 4.8%), respectively. Although in children, clinical trials were limited but showed cotrimoxazole plus rifampin for six weeks was the best treatment regimen.

CONCLUSION: In uncomplicated brucellosis in adult patients, doxycycline-aminoglycoside combination is the first choice with doxycycline- rifampin and doxycycline-cotrimoxazole should be the alternative regimens. The other oral regimens including quinolones may be considered as alternatives. Cotrimoxazole plus rifampin for six weeks may be the regimen of choice for the treatment of patients younger than 8 years old. Gentamicin for 5 days plus cotrimoxazole for six weeks may be a suitable alternative regimen.

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