Urogenital chlamydia trachomatis treatment failure with azithromycin: A meta-analysis


Background: Chlamydia Trachomatis is one of the most common pathogens transmitted through the genital tract in humans that leads to urogenital infection.

Objective: Given the high prevalence of chlamydia infection and its adverse effects on the health of women and men, the present meta-analysis was conducted to determine the rate of treatment failure with azithromycin.

Materials and Methods: Databases including MEDLINE, ISI - Web of Science, PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, ProQuest, and Science Direct were searched for articles published between 1991 and 2018. The quality of the selected articles was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool. Heterogeneity was determined using the I2 and Cochrane Q-Test. Subgroup analysis and meta-regression were used to compare the prevalence rates on different levels of the variables.

Results: A total of 21 articles that met the inclusion criteria were ultimately assessed. The pooled estimate of azithromycin failure rate was 11.23% (CI 95%: 8.23%-14.24%). Also, the azithromycin failure rate was 15.87% (CI 95%: 10.20%-21.54%) for the treatment of urethritis, 7.41% (CI 95%: 0.60%-14.22%) for cervicitis, and 7.14% (CI 95%: 10.90%-3.39%) for genital chlamydia. The pooled estimate of failure rate difference was 2.37% (CI 95%: 0.68%-4.06%), which shows that azithromycin has a higher failure rate in the treatment of chlamydia compared to doxycycline and other examined medications. The meta-regression results showed that the patient’s age contributes significantly to the heterogeneity for azithromycin treatment failure rate (β = 0.826; p = 0.017).

Conclusion: Azithromycin has a higher failure rate than doxycycline and other studied medications in treating urogenital chlamydia infections.

Key words: Azithromycin, Chlamydia trachomatis, Urogenital, Treatment failure, Meta-analysis.

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