Background: Infections significantly predominate during induction chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in children. Antibacterial prophylaxis is one strategy that lowers the risk of these infections. This study evaluates the role of levofloxacin prophylaxis on the frequency of infections, febrile neutropenia (FN) and outcomes associated with it along with the development of drug-resistance.
Subject and methods: This was a single-centre cohort study in which the data were collected from electronic health records between two cohorts of high-risk ALL patients in the induction phase: the first one before the initiation of levofloxacin prophylaxis and the second was after the implementation of levofloxacin prophylaxis. The variables were compared between both the groups and odds ratios were calculated for clinical outcomes.
Results: Out of 227 patients, 115 were given levofloxacin prophylaxis and 112 were in the no prophylaxis group. Both cohorts were similar in demographic factors, treatment regimen and supportive care services. There was a significant difference in total in-patient admissions along with FN admissions (p = 0.026). Microbiologically documented infections and infection-related critical interventions were significantly higher in the no prophylaxis group (p < 0.05). Odds ratios with a 95% confidence interval were applied to both groups for clinical outcomes in patients with and without FN which also illustrated similar results. Overall mortality and drug resistance patterns were similar among both groups.
Conclusion: This study emphasised that levofloxacin is effective in reducing inpatient admissions with FN and its complications but did not affect the drug-resistance pattern. Long-term monitoring for antibiotic resistance is mandatory.