The effect of measuring serum doxycycline concentrations on clinical outcomes during treatment of chronic Q fever

S. E. van Roeden*, C. P. Bleeker-Rovers, L. M. Kampschreur, M. J.A. de Regt, A. Vermeulen Windsant, A. I.M. Hoepelman, P. C. Wever, J. J. Oosterheert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: First choice treatment for chronic Q fever is doxycycline plus hydroxychloroquine. Serum doxycycline concentration (SDC)>5 lg/mL has been associated with a favourable serological response, but the effect on clinical outcomes is unknown. Objectives: To assess the effect of measuring SDC during treatment of chronic Q fever on clinical outcomes. Methods:Weperformed a retrospective cohort study, to assess the effect of measuring SDC on clinical outcomes in patients treated with doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine for chronic Q fever. Primary outcome was the first disease-related event (new complication or chronic Q fever-related mortality); secondary outcomes were allcause mortality and PCR-positivity. Multivariable analysis was performed with a Cox proportional hazards model, with shared-frailty terms for different hospitals included. Results: We included 201 patients (mean age 68 years, 83% male): in 167 patients (83%) SDC was measured, 34 patients (17%) were treated without SDC measurement. First SDC was>5 lg/mL in 106 patients (63%), all with 200mg doxycycline daily. In patients with SDC measured, dosage was adjusted in 41% (n=68), concerning an increase in 64 patients. Mean SDC was 4.1 lg/mL before dosage increase, and 5.9 lg/mL afterwards. SDC measurement was associated with a lower risk for disease-related events (HR 0.51, 95% CI 0.26-0.97, P=0.04), but not with all-cause mortality or PCR-positivity. Conclusions: SDC measurement decreases the risk for disease-related events, potentially through more optimal dosing or improved compliance. We recommend measurement of SDC and striving for SDC>5 lg/mL and <10 lg/mL during treatment of chronic Q fever.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1076
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


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