A randomized treatment trial of travelers' diarrhea was carried out among U.S. military personnel participating in routine exercises in several port cities in South America and West Africa. A 5-day, twice daily course of either norfloxacin (400 mg) or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX, 160/800 mg) was given to 142 volunteers. At the end of 5 days of treatment, diarrhea had resolved in 100% of 73 patients receiving norfloxacin and 97.1% (67/69) receiving TMP/SMX. A probable bacterial pathogen was determined in 44% of 142 subjects: 49% of the norfloxacin group and 39% of the TMP/SMX group. The most common pathogens detected were enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in 20% of cases and rotavirus in 15%. Resistance to TMP/SMX was present in 20 (27%) bacterial isolates, while no resistance to norfloxacin was found. Eight of 10 patients in the TMP/SMX treatment group who had TMP/SMX-resistant bacterial enteropathogens improved clinically. Both norfloxacin and TMP/SMX were clinically effective in the treatment of traveler's diarrhea in this military population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health