Treatment for Legionnaires' disease. Macrolides or quinolones?

Vicenç Falcó, Israel Molina, Concha Juste, Manel Crespo, Benito Almirante, Carles Pigrau, Adelaida Ferrer, Carlos Bravo, Mercedes Palomar, Albert Pahissa

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19 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. Macrolides and fluoroquinolones are the recommended treatment for Legionnaires' disease. The aim of our study was to analyze the clinical efficacy of clarithromycin, azithromycin and levofloxacin in patients with Legionnaires' disease. METHODS. Prospective, observational study involving all adult patients with Legionella pneumophila pneumonia attended at Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron (Barcelona, Spain) from January 2001 to December 2004. Duration of fever, length of hospital stay and mortality were compared among 52 patients treated with clarithromycin, 43 with azithromycin and 18 with levofloxacin. RESULTS. The proportion of patients with risk factors for Legionnaires' disease, the initial severity of the pneumonia and the number of patients who required intensive care unit admission were similar in patients treated with clarithromycin, azithromycin and levofloxacin. In-hospital mortality was 5.3%. There were no significant differences in fever duration, length of hospital stay or mortality among the 3 groups of patients. CONCLUSION. In our experience, clarithromycin, azithromycin and levofloxacin were all efficacious for the treatment of Legionnaires' disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-364
JournalEnfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiologia Clinica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Azithromycin
  • Legionella pneumophila pneumonia
  • Levofloxacin
  • Macrolides

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