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Free Content Drug resistance among failure and relapse cases of tuberculosis: is the standard re-treatment regimen adequate?

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OBJECTIVE: To determine acquired drug resistance among failure and relapse cases after treatment of new smear-positive tuberculosis.

METHODS: A cohort of 2901 patients with new smear-positive tuberculosis was enrolled in Vietnam. Sputum samples were stored at enrolment. Upon failure or relapse, another sputum sample was collected. Both were cultured and underwent drug susceptibility testing and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) typing.

RESULTS: Of 40 failure cases, 17 had multidrug resistance (MDR) at enrolment. At failure, 15 of the 23 (65%) patients without primary MDR had acquired MDR. Of 39 relapse cases and 143 controls, none had primary MDR.

CONCLUSION: Primary drug resistance was a strong risk factor for failure and relapse and for acquiring further resistance. As 80% of failure cases had MDR, the standard re-treatment regimen appears inadequate for failure cases in this control programme with a very high cure rate among new cases.
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Keywords: Vietnam; antitubercular agents; multidrug-resistant; treatment failure; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Pham Ngoc Thach Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 2: Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Association, The Hague, The Netherlands 3: Pitié-Salpetriêre Hospital, Paris, France 4: National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands 5: World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 6: National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, Hanoi, Vietnam

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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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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