Table 1

Baseline comparison of the children treated initially with chloramphenicol or ceftriaxone

CharacteristicsChloramphenicolCeftriaxonep value
*Two children in the chloramphenicol group had both H influenzae type b and S pneumoniae cultured from CSF.
†One case where both Proteus mirabilis and streptococci were cultured from CSF.
‡Diagnosis of Mycobacteriam tuberculosis based on chronicity of symptoms, CSF lymphocytosis, reactive Mantoux test, and miliary or other suggestive pattern on chest radiograph.
§Not significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons (p>0.05).
Number enrolled150196
Median (IQR) age in months7 (4–12)6 (4–11)0.19
Male sex86 (57%)99 (51%)0.27
Number (%) malnourished (<80% expected weight for age)47 (31%)47 (24%)0.13
Antibiotic treatment in previous week78 (52%)93 (47%)0.37
Mean (SD) days of symptoms7.05.60.01§
Convulsions prior to presentation102 (68%)129 (66%)0.61
Spasticity35 (23%)49 (25%)0.75
Focal motor deficit23 (15%)31 (16%)0.92
Bulging fontanelle48 (32%)90 (46%)0.03§
Apnoeas14 (9%)14 (7%)0.47
Cyanosis34 (23%)24 (12%)0.009§
Sunken eyes or poor skin turgor19 (13%)23 (12%)0.79
Hyponatraemia (Na+ <130)26 (17%)35 (18%)0.9
Hypoglycaemia (<3 mmol/l)30 (20%)39 (20%)0.99
Median (IQR) CSF WCC per mm3414 (131–1070)698 (180–1682)0.02§
Streptococcus pneumoniae 44 (29%)*82 (42%)
Haemophilus influenzae type b47 (31%)*65 (33%)
Non-type b H influenzae14
Enteric Gram negative bacilli53†
Other Gram positive bacilli56†
Neisseria meningitidis 11
No bacteria identified but definite meningitis4530
Likely Mycobacterium tuberculosis45
Cryptococcus neoformans 01