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Free Content Seven-year DOTS-Plus pilot experience in India: results, constraints and issues

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BACKGROUND: India is initiating the DOTS-Plus strategy at the national level.

OBJECTIVES: To highlight the results, constraints and issues of a pilot DOTS-Plus experience in an urban setting in India.

METHODS: Records of 126 patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) enrolled from January 2002 to December 2006, who received a daily fully supervised standardised treatment regimen under a pilot DOTS-Plus study in India, were analysed retrospectively.

RESULTS: Of the 126 patients enrolled, 61% were cured, 19% died, 18% defaulted and 3% failed treatment. There was an average delay of 5 months in the diagnosis of MDR-TB and a subsequent delay of approximately 3.3 months in initiating treatment. Of the 24 patients who died, 29% did so within a month of starting treatment. Migration was the most common reason for default. Cycloserine (CYC) had to be stopped in 15 patients and kanamycin (KM) in five due to major adverse effects.

CONCLUSIONS: The DOTS-Plus programme in resource-poor settings may provide reasonable results; however, it may confront significant operational difficulties in the timely diagnosis and early initiation of treatment. Early diagnosis and start of treatment may prevent some deaths. Default is commonly due to migration. CYC proved to be the most toxic drug, followed by KM.
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Keywords: DOTS-Plus; multidrug resistance; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases, Lala Ram Sarup Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi, India 2: Department of Epidemiology, Lala Ram Sarup Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi, India 3: Department of Microbiology, Lala Ram Sarup Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi, India

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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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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