A high-dose subcutaneous infusion of penicillin
Group A Streptococcus bacteria (GAS) can cause acute rheumatic fever, and eventually lead to rheumatic heart disease. The best available protection against the bacteria is to have intramuscular injections of an antibiotic – Benzathine Penicillin G.
Intramuscular injections can be very painful, so it’s difficult to convince children to have a new dose every month for at least ten years, and many children don’t have enough doses to protect them. Therefore, prevention programmes based on providing antibiotics have not successfully reduced the rates of disease over time.
Dr Bennett’s team is testing whether a high-dose subcutaneous infusion of penicillin could sustain protection for three months. This is a randomised cross-over clinical trial in Aotearoa NZ, and Australia to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the antibiotic.
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