Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie

    IHM researchers study azithromycin resistance in meningococcal disease isolates


    Manuel Krone, Thiên-Trí Lâm, Ulrich Vogel, Heike Claus, Susceptibility of invasive Neisseria meningitidis strains isolated in Germany to azithromycin, an alternative agent for post-exposure prophylaxis, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkz535

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) of close contacts to a case of meningococcal disease is an important method to prevent secondary cases. The macrolide azithromycin provides several advantages for this purpose, however, antibiotic resistance rates have barely been studied. The team of the national reference laboratory for meningococci and Haemophilus influenzae has now published azithromycin testing data of a representative collection of invasive meningococcal isolates from Germany. The researchers used two independent methods to provide a valid assessment. Resistance rates were shown to be very low, suggesting that azithromycin should be included in the list of agents for prophylactic treatment recommended by the German authorities. The study also revealed methodological pitfalls, as broth microdilution and agar gradient diffusion yielded results that were only poorly associated. 31-yr old Manuel Krone is the corresponding author of the study. He is currently completing his training as a medical microbiologist.