Effect of azithromycin mass drug administration for trachoma on spleen rates in Gambian children

John D. Hart*, Tansy Edwards, Sarah E. Burr, Emma Harding-Esch, Kensuke Takaoka, Martin J. Holland, Ansumana Sillah, David C.W. Mabey, Robin L. Bailey

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To assess the effect of azithromycin mass drug administration regimens on spleen rates in children aged 0-5 years. Methods: Clinical assessment of spleen size was carried out during a cluster-randomised trial of azithromycin mass treatment for trachoma elimination in The Gambia. Twenty-four communities received three annual mass treatments with azithromycin, and 24 communities received treatment at baseline only. Results: At the 30-month follow-up, 3646 children aged 0-5 years had spleen examination and measurement. Palpable splenomegaly was significantly lower in annually treated vs. baseline-only treatment communities and in treated vs. untreated children at 24 months in the annual treatment arm. Conclusion: The results suggest an effect of azithromycin on spleen rates at the individual level and are most plausibly due to the antimalarial effects of azithromycin.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)207-211
    Number of pages5
    JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


    • Azithromycin
    • Malaria
    • Mortality
    • Spleen
    • Splenomegaly


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