Oral Versus Intravenous Antibiotics for Bone and Joint Infections (OVIVA B&J)

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NHS Trust

Status and phase

Phase 4


Joint Infection
Bone Infection


Drug: Antibiotics

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The study will compare the outcomes of treating bone and joint infections with 6 weeks of intravenous antibiotics with 6 weeks of oral antibiotic treatment. The trial is of antibiotic "strategy" rather than of individual antibiotics. The study will be open label, but the primary outcome will be proven failure of infection treatment, determined by pre-established objective criteria for treatment failure. The null hypothesis tested is that there will be no difference in treatment failure rates.

Full description

A long course of antibiotic therapy given by a "drip" (i.e. intravenous) is recommended treatment for many serious bacterial infections. It is costly and inconvenient for the patient to remain hospitalised for therapy, so outpatient antibiotic therapy (OPAT) programmes have been established in many countries to deliver intravenous antibiotics safely and conveniently. The majority of patients referred to OPAT programmes have bone and joint infections. However, there is no clear evidence that bone and joint infection really require long courses of intravenous antibiotics rather than oral antibiotics. We will compare the outcome of treatment with intravenous versus oral antibiotic therapy for patients with bone and joint infection. The choice of antibiotic is complex, and antibiotics that are suitable oral choices are often not suitable intravenous choices and vice versa. Subjects will therefore be randomized to an oral or intravenous "strategy," rather than to individual antibiotics. Outcomes will be determined by pre-established objective criteria for treatment failure. We have conducted a pilot study in one centre (Oxford), recruiting approximately 200 patients, and are now expanding to include multi-centre recruitment in the UK, aiming to recruit 1050 patients.


1,054 patients




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

Is willing and able to give informed consent for participation in the study. Has a bone and joint infection one of the following categories;

  • Native osteomyelitis.
  • Native joint septic arthritis.
  • Diabetic foot infection with osteomyelitis.
  • Prosthetic joint associated infection.
  • Discitis/ spinal osteomyelitis/ epidural abscess
  • Has had at least 48 hours, but not more than 7 days, of IV antibiotic therapy already given after definitive surgical management.
  • Has a clinical diagnosis of bacterial infection (caused by any organism excepting mycobacteria).
  • Is clinically stable in the opinion of the study clinicians, has no further interventions to treat acute infection required or planned.

Exclusion criteria

  • Has Staph aureus bacteraemia.
  • Has suspected bacterial endocarditis.
  • Has suspected mediastinal infection.
  • Has suspected central nervous system infection.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

1,054 participants in 2 patient groups

Oral antibiotics
Active Comparator group
Drug: Antibiotics
Intravenous antibiotics
Active Comparator group
Drug: Antibiotics

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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