Malabsorption of oral antibiotics in humans and rats with giardiasis

J. Carl Craft, Elizabeth A. Holt, Sheri H. Tan

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We observed unexplained treatment failures in 13 patients with serious infections and apparent incidental giardiasis. Antibiotic concentrations were assayed in the serum from patients before initiating anti-Giardia therapy and again 2 to 3 weeks after therapy. The peak serum concentrations of antibiotics were higher after treatment for giardiasis. The rat model of giardiasis was used to examine the hypothesis that oral antibiotics are malabsorbed during Giardia lamblia infection. Twenty-eight-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats were fed amoxicillin (50 mg/kg/dose), ampicillin (50 mg/kg/dose), cefaclor (50 mg/kg/dose), cephalexin (50 mg/kg/ dose), erythromycin (50 mg/kg/dose), penicillin V (50 mg/kg/dose) or sulfamethoxazole (20 mg/ kg/dose) and sera were assayed for antibiotics at 1, 2, 4, 6 and 12 hours after therapy. The same rats were fed 105 G. lamblia cysts on 4 consecutive days. On Day 7 of infection the rats were fed the same antibiotic and sera were assayed for antibiotics at 1, 2, 4, 6 and 12 hours after th rapy. The mean peak serum concentrations for all drugs except sulfamethoxazole were significantly higher in the rats before infection with G. lamblia. These data suggest that oral antibiotic therapy maybe compromised by decreased absorption in the presence of giardiasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-836
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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