Trimethoprim+Sulfamethoxazole Reduces Rates of Melioidosis in High-Risk Hemodialysis Patients
Majoni, Sandawana William
Hughes, Jacquelyne T
Currie, Bart John
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Introduction Melioidosis causes sepsis and death in the Top End of Northern Australia during the monsoonal wet season. Dialysis-dependent adults suffer higher melioidosis rates compared to low rates among renal transplant patients who routinely receive trimethoprim+sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis. Methods We performed a prospective interventional study to determine the efficacy and safety of daily trimethoprim+sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis in hemodialysis patients during the wet season, from 1 November 2014 to 30 April 2015. Hemodialysis (for ≥ 3 months) patients ≥ 18 years of age were offered treatment. A total of 269 patients on hemodialysis were eligible. Eight of the 269 patients (3%) were excluded from the analysis for being on melioidosis treatment. In all, 169 of 261 patients (64.8%) received the prophylaxis, and 92 of 261 patients (35.2%) did not, because of allergy history (n = 10), remoteness and logistical reasons (n = 60), poor dialysis attendance (n = 11), and refusal (n = 11). We monitored for clinical side effects 3 times weekly and neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and liver function monthly throughout treatment and for 2 months posttreatment. Results In all, 169 of 261 patients (64.8%) received the prophylaxis. There was no age (years) difference by group (prophylaxis vs. nonprophylaxis, 54.7 [11.3] vs. 54.3 [11.2] [P = 0.751]). Sixteen of 261 patients (6%) had melioidosis. The event frequency was 0% (0/169, prophylaxis, vs. 17.4% [16/92, nonprophylaxis], P < 0.001). Higher thrombocytopenia and neutropenia rates were noted in the prophylaxis group. These did not warrant treatment stoppage. There was no difference in liver function. Three patients (1.8%) withdrew from the treatment because of side effects. Conclusion Daily dosing was effective and safe. Posthemodialysis dosing in the subsequent seasons was effective and safer. We recommend this approach in melioidosis-prevalent regions.