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Free Content Phase II trial of recombinant interferon-α2b in patients with advanced intractable multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis: long-term follow-up

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SETTING: Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, with Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to almost all of the available drugs.

OBJECTIVE: Limited phase II trial with recombinant interferon-α2b in five chronic multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients.

METHODS: Three million units of r-IFN-α2b were administered subcutaneously every week for 12 weeks. Before and after treatment, and during a 30-month follow-up period, the patients underwent clinical and radiological examination, together with bacteriological, immunological and routine laboratory testing.

RESULTS: Two of the five patients became long-term sputum smear and culture negative after r-IFN-α2b therapy; one of the patients showed clinical improvement and negative smear after therapy, but remained culture positive. The other two patients showed no response.

CONCLUSION: The results of this trial suggest that r-IFN-α2b should be evaluated further in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in prospective controlled trials.
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Keywords: IFN-alpha; MDR-TB; treatment

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Pulmonary Diseases, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina 2: Immunology Department, University Del Salvador, Argentina 3: Department of Clinical Investigation, Bio Sidus SA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publication date: 01 March 1999

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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