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Combo Antibiotics Effective in Chlamydia-Induced Arthritis

Findings point to possibility of a cure for Chlamydia-induced reactive arthritis

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of antibiotics has been found effective in the treatment of Chlamydia-induced reactive arthritis (ReA), and may hold promise for cure of the disease, according to research published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

John D. Carter, M.D., of the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, and colleagues randomized 42 patients positive for C. trachomatis or C. pneumoniae by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to receive either doxycycline and rifampin plus placebo instead of azithromycin; azithromycin and rifampin plus placebo instead of doxycycline; or all placebos for six months to determine the effectiveness of combination antibiotics for treating Chlamydia-induced ReA.

The primary end point, an improvement of 20 percent or more in at least four of six variables without a worsening in any variable, was achieved in 17 of the 27 patients (63 percent) on combination antibiotics and three of 15 patients (20 percent) on placebo, the researchers found. Twenty-two percent of patients on combination antibiotics thought they achieved disease remission during the study, but no patients in the placebo group went into remission. Significantly more patients receiving combination antibiotics were negative for C. trachomatis or C. pneumoniae by PCR at six months, the investigators note.

"The results of this study are encouraging for the management of chronic post-Chlamydia ReA. These data suggest that there is potential for eradication of this persistent infection and that improvement in the clinical sequelae that are the result of these infections can be achieved in a substantial number of patients," the authors write.

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