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Abstract Background Treatment of melioidosis comprises intravenous drugs for at least 10 days, followed by oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) for 12 to 20 weeks. Oral TMP-SMX is recommended for 12 weeks in Australia and 20 weeks in Thailand. Methods For this open-label, pragmatic, multicenter, noninferiority, randomized controlled trial, we enrolled patients with culture-confirmed melioidosis who had received oral eradication treatment for 12 weeks and had no clinical evidence of active melioidosis. We randomly assigned patients to stop treatment (12-week regimen) or continue treatment for another 8 weeks (20-week regimen). The primary end point was culture-confirmed recurrent melioidosis within 1 year after enrollment. The noninferiority margin was a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.0. The secondary composite end point, combining overall recurrent melioidosis and mortality, was assessed post hoc. Results We enrolled 658 patients: 322 to the 12-week regimen and 336 to the 20-week regimen. There were 5 patients (2%) in the 12-week regimen and 2 patients (1%) in the 20-week regimen who developed culture-confirmed recurrent melioidosis (HR, 2.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], .52–13.69). The criterion for noninferiority of the primary event was not met (1-sided P = .37). However, all-cause mortality was significantly lower in the 12-week regimen group than in the 20-week regimen group (1 [.3%] vs 11 [3%], respectively; HR, 0.10; 95% CI, .01–.74). The criterion for noninferiority of the secondary composite end point, combining overall recurrent melioidosis and mortality, was met (1-sided P = .022). Conclusions Based on the lower total mortality and noninferiority of the secondary composite end point observed, we recommend the 12-week regimen of TMP-SMX for oral eradication treatment of melioidosis. Clinical Trials Registration NCT01420341.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical Infectious Diseases


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





e3627 - e3633