Drug susceptibility testing and mortality in patients treated for tuberculosis in high-burden countries

on behalf of the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA)

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Background Drug resistance and HIV co-infection are challenges for the global control of tuberculosis. Methods We collected Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from adult patients in Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Peru, and Thailand, stratified by HIV status and tuberculosis drug resistance. Molecular or phenotypic drug susceptibility testing (DST) was done locally and at the Swiss tuberculosis reference laboratory. We examined mortality during treatment according to DST results and treatment adequacy in logistic regression models adjusting for sex, age, sputum microscopy and HIV status. Findings 634 tuberculosis patients were included; median age was 33.2 years, 239 (37.7%) were female, 272 (42.9%) HIV-positive and 69 (10.9%) patients died. Based on the reference laboratory DST, 394 (62.2%) strains were pan-susceptible, 45 (7.1%) mono-resistant, 163 (25.7%) multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB), and 30 (4.7%) had pre-extensive or extensive drug resistance (pre-XDR/XDR-TB). Results of reference and local laboratories were discordant in 121 (19.1%) cases, corresponding to a sensitivity of 84.3% and a specificity of 90.8%. In patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis, discordant results were associated with increased mortality (risk ratio 1.81; 95% CI 1.07-3.07). In logistic regression, compared to adequately treated patients with pan-susceptible strains, the adjusted odds ratio for death was 4.23 (95% CI 2.16-8.29) for adequately treated patients with drug-resistant strains and 21.54 (95% CI 3.36-138.1) for inadequately treated patients with drug-resistant strains. HIV status was not associated with mortality. Interpretation Using a reference laboratory standard, inaccurate DST leading to inappropriate treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis, but not HIV infection, contributed to mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jul 18 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • drug resistance
  • low- and middle-income countries
  • MDR-TB
  • mortality
  • treatment success
  • Tuberculosis
  • XDR-TB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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