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Knoll GA, Humar A, Fergusson D, et al. Levofloxacin for BK Virus Prophylaxis Following Kidney Transplantation: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2014;312(20):2106–2114. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14721
BK virus infection is a significant complication of modern immunosuppression used in kidney transplantation. Viral reactivation occurs first in the urine (BK viruria) and is associated with a high risk of transplant failure. There are currently no therapies to prevent or treat BK virus infection. Quinolone antibiotics have antiviral properties against BK virus but efficacy at preventing this infection has not been shown in prospective controlled studies.
To determine if levofloxacin can prevent BK viruria in kidney transplant recipients.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial involving 154 patients who received a living or deceased donor kidney-only transplant in 7 Canadian transplant centers between December 2011 and June 2013.
Participants were randomly assigned to receive a 3-month course of levofloxacin (500 mg/d; n = 76) or placebo (n = 78) starting within 5 days after transplantation.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was time to occurrence of BK viruria (detected using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction) within the first year after transplantation. Secondary outcomes included BK viremia, peak viral load, rejection, and patient and allograft survival.
The mean follow-up time was 46.5 weeks in the levofloxacin group and 46.3 weeks in the placebo group (27 patients had follow-up terminated before the end of the planned follow-up period or development of viruria because the trial was stopped early owing to lack of funding). BK viruria occurred in 22 patients (29%) in the levofloxacin group and in 26 patients (33.3%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.51-1.63; P = .58). There was no significant difference between the 2 groups in regard to any of the secondary end points. There was an increased risk of resistant infection among isolates usually sensitive to quinolones in the levofloxacin group vs placebo (14/24 [58.3%] vs 15/45 [33.3%], respectively; risk ratio, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.01-2.98) as well as a nonsignificant increased risk of suspected tendinitis (6/76 [7.9%] vs 1/78 [1.3%]; risk ratio, 6.16; 95% CI, 0.76-49.95).
Conclusions and Relevance
Among kidney transplant recipients, a 3-month course of levofloxacin initiated early following transplantation did not prevent BK viruria. Levofloxacin was associated with an increased risk of adverse events such as bacterial resistance. These findings do not support the use of levofloxacin to prevent posttransplant BK virus infection.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01353339
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