Impact of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy with azithromycin-containing regimens on maternal nasopharyngeal carriage and antibiotic sensitivity of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Staphylococcus aureus
Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) plus azithromycin (AZ) (SPAZ) has the potential for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy(IPTp), but its use could increase circulation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria associated with severe pediatric infections. We evaluated the effect of monthly SPAZ-IPTp compared to a single course of SP plus chloroquine (SPCQ) on maternal nasopharyngeal carriage and antibioticsusceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Staphylococcus aureus at delivery among 854 women participating in a randomized controlled trial in Papua New Guinea. Serotyping was performed, and antibiotic susceptibility was evaluated by disk diffusion and Etest. Potential risk factors for carriage were examined. Nasopharyngeal carriage at delivery of S. pneumoniae (SPAZ, 7.2% [30/418], versus SPCQ, 19.3% [84/436]; P<0.001) and H. influenzae (2.9% [12/418] versus 6.0% [26/436], P=0.028), but not S. aureus, was significantly reduced among women who had received SPAZ-IPTp. The number of macrolide-resistant pneumococcal isolates was small but increased in the SPAZ group (13.3% [4/30], versus SPCQ, 2.2% [2/91]; P=0.033). The proportions of isolates with serotypes covered by the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine were similar (SPAZ, 10.3% [3/29], versus SPCQ, 17.6% [16/91]; P=0.352). Although macrolide-resistant isolates were rare, they were more commonly detected in women who had received SPAZ-IPTp, despite the significant reduction of maternal carriage of S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae observed in this group. Future studies on SPAZ-IPTp should evaluate carriage and persistence of macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae and other pathogenic bacteria in both mothers and infants and assess the clinical significance of their circulation.