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Antibiotics in insect bites

Three Part Question

In [adults with insect bites] do [prophylactic antibiotics] reduce the [incidence of wound infection]?

Clinical Scenario

A 37 year old lady returned from a holiday in Barbados. 3 days later later she presented to the emergency department with a red painful itchy area on her left foot which started on the last day of her holiday. You are not sure whether to prescribe antibiotics.

Search Strategy

EMBASE 1988- 06/05 and MEDLINE - 1966 06/05.
insect bite$.mp. or exp "Insect Bites and Stings"/ AND [antibiotic$.mp. or exp Anti-Bacterial Agents/] OR exp [ANTIBIOTIC PROPHYLAXIS/ or] AND [exp INFECTION/ or exp WOUND INFECTION/ or] LIMIT to human AND English language.

Search Outcome

MEDLINE 28 papers
EMBASE 152 papers
No relevant papers were found.


There is no evidence to answer the question.

Clinical Bottom Line

There is no evidence that prophylactic antibiotics reduce the risk of wound infection in insect bites.