In today’s post, we will be taking a step back once again to review some basics surrounding Legionnaires’ disease. As such, a fundamental bit of information which may prove useful for future conversations is simply what the treatment for Legionnaires’ disease looks like in a broad way. The answer, in short, is antibiotics since in one way, a big part of treating Legionnaires’ disease is, put simply, treating a bacterial infection.
A more specific answer, however, would include us listing some of the more effective antibiotics. As such, some examples include tetracyclines, quinolones, most macrolides, and ketolides. The reason these particular antibiotics are effective is due to the fact that Legionella will multiply within a cell, so effective treatment must include antibiotics with particularly good intracellular penetration. The antibiotics currently being used most commonly have been azithromycin(a macrolides), doxycycline (a tetracyclines), and levofloxacin (a quinolones).
Azithromycin can be used in all age groups, while doxycycline are instead supposed to be prescribed to children above the age of 12 and levofloxacin require individuals to be 18 or above. An antibiotic for the treatment of Legionnaires’ disease that has gotten a bit more attention recently is rifampicin. Rifampicin can be used in combination with quinolones or macrolides however it is not certain whether rifampicin is actually an effective antibiotic to take for the treatment of Legionnaires’ disease. Indeed the Infectious Diseases Society of America currently does not support the use of rifampicin with added regimens like quinolones or macrolides.
While some of this information may seem too far in the weeds, perhaps a final ending note to think about is with the original American Legion outbreak. Essentially there was some difficulties by health care professionals to treat this outbreak properly since it was such a relatively new experience. Eventually, however, medical professionals soon began to discover that antibiotics like erythromycin and tetracyclines were providing better outcomes than other antibiotics. The big reason for this effectiveness was that erythromycin and tetracyclines both have excellent intracellular penetration within Legionella cells. As such, what is important is that there are clearly a great deal of nuance within the field of treating Legionnaires’ disease however overall, this post is intended to hopefully provide a general overview of various antibiotics and treatment techniques and how they work.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.