Daptomycin versus placebo as an adjunct to beta-lactam therapy in the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Trials. 2018 May 29;19(1):297. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-2668-6.


Background: Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To treat this infection, the current standard of care includes intravenous anti-staphylococcal beta-lactam antibiotics and obtaining adequate source control. Combination therapy with an aminoglycoside or rifampin, despite early promise, can no longer be routinely recommended due to an absence of proven benefit and risk of harm. Daptomycin is a rapidly acting bactericidal antibiotic that is approved for the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia as monotherapy but has not been shown to be superior to the current standard of care. As demonstrated in vitro, the addition of daptomycin to beta-lactam therapy may result in enhanced anti-staphylococcal activity. Our objective is to assess the efficacy and safety of prescribing the combination of daptomycin with cefazolin or cloxacillin for the treatment of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteremia in adults. We hypothesize that adjunctive therapy with daptomycin will reduce the duration of bacteremia in this population.

Methods: The DASH-RCT trial is a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial designed per the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendation for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) and Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines. We recruit adults with confirmed MSSA bacteremia, at the McGill University Health Center. Patients are eligible if they are 18 years or older, can receive cefazolin or cloxacillin monotherapy, and are enrolled within 72 h of the first blood culture being drawn. Exclusion criteria include anaphylaxis to study drugs, having polymicrobial bacteremia, anticipated hospital admission for < 5 days, and healthcare team refusal. While receiving standard of care, study patients are randomized to a 5-day course of adjunctive daptomycin or placebo. The trial began in December 2016 and is expected to end in December 2018, after recruiting an estimated 102 patients.

Discussion: The DASH-RCT will compare the use of daptomycin as an adjunct to an anti-staphylococcal beta-lactam versus placebo in the treatment of MSSA bacteremia. We believe that a short course of dual therapy will result in earlier eradication of bacteremia and that subsequent research could evaluate effects on metastatic infection, relapse, and/or mortality. Ongoing issues in the trial include a delay between presentation of infection, enrollment in the trial, and the potential for unrecognized deep foci of infection at diagnosis.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02972983 . Registered on 25 November 2016. Trial protocol: http://individual.utoronto.ca/leet/dash/dashprotocol.pdf.

Keywords: Bacteremia; Beta-lactam; Daptomycin; Staphylococcus aureus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy*
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Cefazolin / administration & dosage*
  • Cefazolin / adverse effects
  • Cloxacillin / administration & dosage*
  • Cloxacillin / adverse effects
  • Daptomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Daptomycin / adverse effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Quebec
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cefazolin
  • Daptomycin
  • Cloxacillin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02972983