It has been found that severe cholera in children can be treated effectively with a single dose of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin.
Cholera is a major global health problem particularly in children in areas in less-developed countries. In the resource-limited countries where cholera occurs, any reduction in hospital stay is important as it reduces the demands on the healthcare system.
Currently, WHO recommends a 3-day, 12-dose course of antibiotic treatment with either tetracycline or erythromycin for treatment of cholera in children. A comparison of the effectiveness of a 3-day, 12-dose course of erythromycin with a single-dose of ciprofloxacin was done. Ciprofloxacin was more effective than erythromycin at reducing vomiting and stool number and volume. However, single-dose ciprofloxacin was inferior to erythromycin in eradicating the cholera bacteria—Vibrio cholerae--resulting in those treated with ciprofloxacin excreting the bacteria for longer than those treated with erythromycin.
Thus, for infections caused by susceptible strains of V cholerae, single-dose ciprofloxacin achieves clinical outcomes similar to or better than, those achieved with 12-dose erythromycin treatment in childhood cholera, but is less effective in eradicating V cholerae from stool.