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Isoniazid Resistance and Dosage as Treatment for Patients with Tuberculosis

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Background: The first-line TB antibiotic isoniazid (INH) serves as a central component of combined first-line anti-tuberculosis drug therapy. However, resistance to INH has hindered the functioning of this drug. Resistance is caused by several known and unknown mutations in genes/regions in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), followed by selection of these mutants in the presence of the drug. INH resistance can be categorised as either “high-level” (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of > 1μg/mL to INH) or “low-level” (MIC between 0.1-1.0 μg/L) resistance and is dependent on the specific mutation acquired. The level of resistance is relevant, as INH resistance is often considered to be the first step in development of Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) and extremely resistant (XDR) TB. Isoniazid is a pro-drug in which first pass metabolism happens via N-acetyltransferase and is fast, intermediate or slow, depending on the genetics of the host. Thus, low-level INH resistance, particularly in the presence of fast metabolism, could allow additional mutations, development of high-level resistance and progression to multi-drug resistance.

Methods: A structured search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research literature was performed. Set parameters and specific inclusion criteria were used to filter the literature, based on our specified review questions. The quality and relevance of included papers was deduced using standard tools. The relevant content of cited papers was described, and an inferential qualitative content analysis methodology was utilised to analyse the inferences and findings of included studies using a conceptual framework.

Results: Seventy-eight papers were included in the review, of which a sub-set (36) of the papers describe how different genetic mutations result in low or high-level resistance to INH. These papers were also used to set up a diagram detailing how each mutation affects INH functionality in order to visualise the interactome of INH and M.tuberculosis A further twenty-eight out of the seventy-eight papers detail the methods for testing for INH resistance, current treatment regimens and factors that influence treatment outcome in order to better understand the role of INH within the current anti-tuberculosis treatment therapy and how its use can be optimised.

Conclusion: The findings of this review suggest that low-level INH resistance, in the presence of fast-acetylation, is an underrated component of the global TB epidemic worldwide, and may be a significant problem in terms of treatment outcome and progression to antibiotic resistance. Thus, more research must be done to test whether personalised diagnostics and targeted high dose treatment with INH will reduce the incidence of isoniazid mono-resistant and multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis.
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Keywords: Low-level resistance; acetylation; dosage; isoniazid; metabolism; resistance; tuberculosis

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

This article was made available online on November 7, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Isoniazid Resistance and Dosage as Treatment for Patients with Tuberculosis".

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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