The standard treatment of brucellar spondylitis with a combination of two antibiotics for 6-12 weeks is associated with high rates of treatment failure and relapse. The present study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of a treatment strategy based on the prolongedadministration of a triple combination of suitable antibiotics. Eighteen patients with brucellar spondylitis were treated with a combination of at least three suitable antibiotics (doxycycline, rifampin, plus intramuscular streptomycin or cotrimoxazole or ciprofloxacin) until the completion of at least 6 months of treatment, when clinical, radiological and serology re-evaluation was performed. If necessary, the treatment was continued with additional 6-month cycles, until resolution or significant improvement of clinical and radiological findings, or for a maximum of 18 months. At presentation, the median age was 66 years (range, 42-85 years) with male predominance. The median duration of therapy was 48 weeks (range 24-72 weeks). Treatment was discontinued early because of side-effects in only one patient. Surgical intervention was required for three patients. At the end of treatment all patients had a complete response. After completion of treatment, all patients were followed up with regular visits. During the follow-up period (duration 1-96 months, median 36.5 months), no relapses were observed. In conclusion, prolonged (at least 6 months) administration of a triple combination of suitable antibiotics appears to be an effective treatment for brucellar spondylitis.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011 May;17(5):756-62