Mass Administration Of Azithromycin Associated With Continued Reduced Childhood Mortality In Niger Study; Concerns Remain Over Drug Resistance

CIDRAP News: Follow-up study: Mass azithromycin still tied to fewer child deaths
“New follow-up data [Thursday] in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provide additional evidence that mass distribution of azithromycin could be a strategy for reducing childhood mortality in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. But concerns about antibiotic resistance remain. In fact, a separate analysis published [Thursday] as a letter in the NEJM notes rising drug resistance among children from the original 2018 study…” (Dall, 6/6).

Healio: MORDOR 2: Azithromycin MDA remains effective at 3 years in Niger
“…In a related editorial, Naor Bar-Zeev, PhD, MBBS(Hons), MPH, an associate professor of international health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues said the findings in these studies raised more questions than they answered. ‘What mechanism explains these observations?’ they wrote. ‘Which groups would it be best to target with azithromycin? And what of the thorny issue of antimicrobial resistance? Even if benefits are confirmed for some, will antimicrobial resistance cause harm to others? Perhaps our hopes for azithromycin should be more modest’…” (Gramigna, 6/5).

Additional coverage of the study is available from Agence France-Presse, BBC News, and NPR.