Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Background: The World Health Organization recommends hospitalization and injectable antibiotic treatment for young infants (0–59 days old), who present with signs of possible serious bacterial infection. Fast breathing alone is not associated with a high mortality risk for young infants and has been treated with oral antibiotics in some settings. This trial was designed to examine the safety and efficacy of oral amoxicillin for young infants with fast breathing compared with that of an injectable penicillin–gentamicin combination. The study is currently being conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Nigeria

Methods/Design: This is a randomized, open-label equivalence trial. All births in the community are visited at home by trained community health workers to identify sick infants who are then referred to a trial study nurse for assessment. The primary outcome is treatment failure by day 8 after enrollment, defined as clinical deterioration, development of a serious adverse event including death, persistence of fast breathing by day 4 or recurrence up to day 8. Secondary outcomes include adherence to study therapy, relapse, death between days 9 and 15 and adverse effects associated with the study drugs. Study outcomes are assessed on days 4, 8, 11 and 15 after randomization by an independent outcome assessor who is blinded to the treatment being given.

Discussion: The results of this study will help inform the development of policies for the treatment of fast breathing among neonates and young infants in resource-limited settings.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal

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