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Open Access Acquired bedaquiline resistance in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan

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BACKGROUND: The WHO recommends the use of bedaquiline (BDQ) in longer, as well as shorter, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) treatment regimens. However, resistance to this new drug is now emerging. We aimed to describe the characteristics of patients in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, who were treated for MDR-TB and acquired BDQ resistance during treatment.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of routinely collected data for patients treated for MDR-TB in Karakalpakstan between January 2015 and December 2020. We included patients on BDQ-containing regimens with baseline susceptibility to BDQ who developed BDQ resistance at any point after treatment initiation. Patients resistant to BDQ at baseline or with no confirmed susceptibility to BDQ at baseline were excluded.

RESULTS: Of the 523 patients who received BDQ-containing regimens during the study period, BDQ resistance was detected in 31 patients (5.9%); 20 patients were excluded—16 with no prior confirmation of BDQ susceptibility and 4 who were resistant at baseline. Eleven patients with acquired BDQ resistance were identified. We discuss demographic variables, resistance profiles, treatment-related variables and risk factors for unfavourable outcomes for these patients.

CONCLUSION: Our programmatic data demonstrated the acquisition of BDQ resistance during or subsequent to receiving a BDQ-containing regimen in a patient cohort from Uzbekistan. We highlight the need for individualised treatment regimens with optimised clinical and laboratory follow up to prevent resistance acquisition.

Keywords: MDR-TB; XDR-TB; antibiotic resistance; drug resistance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Holland, Amsterdam 2: Republican Center of Tuberculosis and Pulmonology, Nukus, Uzbekistan 3: Republican Specialized Scientific and Practical Medical Center of Tuberculosis and Pulmonology, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 4: MSF, Berlin, Germany 5: MSF, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 6: MSF, London, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2022

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