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Open Access Management of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

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The emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB; defined as resistance to at least rifampicin and isoniazid) represents a growing threat to public health and economic growth. Never before in the history of mankind have more patients been affected by MDR-TB than is the case today. The World Health Organization reports that MDR-TB outcomes are poor despite staggeringly high management costs. Moreover, treatment is prolonged, adverse events are common, and the majority of affected patients do not receive adequate treatment. As MDR-TB strains are often resistant to one or more second-line anti-TB drugs, in-depth genotypic and phenotypic drug susceptibility testing is needed to construct personalised treatment regimens to improve treatment outcomes. For the first time in decades, the availability of novel drugs such as bedaquiline allow us to design potent and well-tolerated personalised MDR-TB treatment regimens based solely on oral drugs. In this article, we present management guidance to optimise the diagnosis, algorithm-based treatment, drug dosing and therapeutic drug monitoring, and the management of adverse events and comorbidities, associated with MDR-TB. We also discuss the role of surgery, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, palliative care and smoking cessation in patients with MDR-TB. We hope that incorporating these recommendations into patient care will be helpful in optimising treatment outcomes, and lead to more MDR-TB patients achieving a relapse-free cure.
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Keywords: MDR-TB; RESIST-TB; TB; TBNET; XDR-TB; personalised treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Please see Supplementary Data for details of all author affiliations.

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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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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