Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis

Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis
Classification and external resources
MeSH D018088

Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is defined as TB that is resistant at least to isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RMP), the two most powerful first-line anti-TB drugs.[1] Isolates that are multiply resistant to any other combination of anti-TB drugs but not to INH and RMP are not classed as MDR-TB.

MDR-TB develops during treatment of fully sensitive TB when the course of antibiotics is interrupted and the levels of drug in the body are insufficient to kill 100% of bacteria. This can happen for a number of reasons: Patients may feel better and halt their antibiotic course, drug supplies may run out or become scarce, or patients may forget to take their medication from time to time. MDR-TB is spread from person to person as readily as drug-sensitive TB and in the same manner.[2]



MDR-TB most commonly develops in the course of TB treatment,[3] and is most commonly due to doctors giving inappropriate treatment, or patients missing doses or failing to complete their treatment. MDR-TB strains are often less fit and less transmissible, and outbreaks occur more readily in people with weakened immune systems (e.g., patients with HIV).[4][5][6][7][8] Outbreaks among non immunocompromised healthy people do occur,[9] but are less common.[3] A 1997 survey of 35 countries found rates above 2% in about a third of the countries surveyed. The highest rates were in the former USSR, the Baltic states, Argentina, India, and China, and was associated with poor or failing national tuberculosis control programmes.

It has been known for many years that INH-resistant TB is less virulent in guinea pigs, and the epidemiological evidence is that MDR strains of TB do not dominate naturally. A study in Los Angeles, California found that only 6% of cases of MDR-TB were clustered. Likewise, the appearance of high rates of MDR-TB in New York city in the early 1990s was associated with the explosion of AIDS in that area.[10][11]

Treatment of MDR-TB

Usually, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis can be cured with long treatments of second-line drugs, but these are more expensive than first-line drugs and have more adverse effects.[1] The treatment and prognosis of MDR-TB are much more akin to that for cancer than to that for infection. It has a mortality rate of up to 80%, which depends on a number of factors, including

  1. How many drugs the organism is resistant to (the fewer the better)
  2. How many drugs the patient is given (patients treated with five or more drugs do better)
  3. Whether an injectable drug is given or not (it should be given for the first three months at least)
  4. The expertise and experience of the physician responsible
  5. How co-operative the patient is with treatment (treatment is arduous and long, and requires persistence and determination on the part of the patient)
  6. Whether the patient is HIV positive or not (HIV co-infection is associated with an increased mortality).

The majority of patients suffering from multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis do not receive treatment, as they tend to live in underdeveloped countries or in a state of poverty. Denial of treatment remains a difficult human rights issue, as the high cost of second-line medications often precludes individuals unable to afford therapy.[12]

In general, treatment courses are measured in months to years; MDR-TB may require surgery, and death rates remain high despite optimal treatment. However, good outcomes for the patient are still possible.[13]

The treatment of MDR-TB must be undertaken by a physician experienced in the treatment of MDR-TB. Mortality and morbidity in patients treated in non-specialist centers are significantly inferior to those of patients treated in specialist centers.

In addition to the obvious risks (i.e., known exposure to a patient with MDR-TB), risk factors for MDR-TB include HIV infection, previous incarceration, failed TB treatment, failure to respond to standard TB treatment, and relapse following standard TB treatment.

Treatment of MDR-TB must be done on the basis of sensitivity testing: It is impossible to treat such patients without this information. If treating a patient with suspected MDR-TB, the patient should be started on SHREZ (Streptomycin+isonicotinyl Hydrazine+Rifampicin+Ethambutol+pyraZinamide)+MXF+cycloserine pending the result of laboratory sensitivity testing. There is evidence that previous therapy with a drug for more than a month was associated with diminished efficacy of that drug regardless of in vitro tests indicating susceptibility,[14] so, detailed knowledge of the treatment history of that patient is essential.

A gene probe for rpoB is available in some countries, which serves as a useful marker for MDR-TB, because isolated RMP resistance is rare (except when patients have a history of being treated with rifampicin alone). If the results of a gene probe (rpoB) are known to be positive, then it is reasonable to omit RMP and to use SHEZ+MXF+cycloserine. The reason for maintaining the patient on INH is that INH is so potent in treating TB that it is foolish to omit it until there is microbiological proof that it is ineffective (even though isoniazid resistance so commonly occurs with rifampicin resistance).

When sensitivities are known and the isolate is confirmed as resistant to both INH and RMP, five drugs should be chosen in the following order (based on known sensitivities):

Drugs are placed nearer the top of the list because they are more effective and less toxic; drugs are placed nearer the bottom of the list because they are less effective or more toxic, or more difficult to obtain.

In general, resistance to one drug within a class means resistance to all drugs within that class, but a notable exception is rifabutin: Rifampicin-resistance does not always mean rifabutin-resistance, and the laboratory should be asked to test for it. It is possible only to use one drug within each drug class. If it is difficult finding five drugs to treat then the clinician can request that high-level INH-resistance be looked for. If the strain has only low-level INH-resistance (resistance at 0.2 mg/l INH, but sensitive at 1.0 mg/l INH), then high dose INH can be used as part of the regimen. When counting drugs, PZA and interferon count as zero; that is to say, when adding PZA to a four-drug regimen, another drug must be chosen to make five. It is not possible to use more than one injectable (STM, capreomycin or amikacin), because the toxic effect of these drugs is additive: If possible, the aminoglycoside should be given daily for a minimum of three months (and perhaps thrice weekly thereafter). Ciprofloxacin should not be used in the treatment of tuberculosis if other fluoroquinolones are available.[16]

There is no intermittent regimen validated for use in MDR-TB, but clinical experience is that giving injectable drugs for five days a week (because there is no-one available to give the drug at weekends) does not seem to result in inferior results. Directly observed therapy helps to improve outcomes in MDR-TB and should be considered an integral part of the treatment of MDR-TB.[17]

Response to treatment must be obtained by repeated sputum cultures (monthly if possible). Treatment for MDR-TB must be given for a minimum of 18 months and cannot be stopped until the patient has been culture-negative for a minimum of nine months. It is not unusual for patients with MDR-TB to be on treatment for two years or more.

Patients with MDR-TB should be isolated in negative-pressure rooms, if possible. Patients with MDR-TB should not be accommodated on the same ward as immunosuppressed patients (HIV-infected patients, or patients on immunosuppressive drugs). Careful monitoring of compliance with treatment is crucial to the management of MDR-TB (and some physicians insist on hospitalisation if only for this reason). Some physicians will insist that these patients remain isolated until their sputum is smear-negative, or even culture-negative (which may take many months, or even years). Keeping these patients in hospital for weeks (or months) on end may be a practical or physical impossibility, and the final decision depends on the clinical judgement of the physician treating that patient. The attending physician should make full use of therapeutic drug monitoring (in particular, of the aminoglycosides) both to monitor compliance and to avoid toxic effects.

Some supplements may be useful as adjuncts in the treatment of tuberculosis, but, for the purposes of counting drugs for MDR-TB, they count as zero (if four drugs are already in the regimen, it may be beneficial to add arginine or vitamin D or both, but another drug will be needed to make five).

The drugs listed below have been used in desperation, and it is uncertain as to whether they are effective at all. They are used when it is not possible to find five drugs from the list above.

The following drugs are experimental compounds that are not commercially available, but may be obtained from the manufacturer as part of a clinical trial or on a compassionate basis. Their efficacy and safety are unknown:

In cases of extremely resistant disease, surgery to remove infection portions of the lung is, in general, the final option. The center with the largest experience in this is the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado. In 17 years of experience, they have performed 180 operations; of these, 98 were lobectomies and 82 were pneumonectomies. There is a 3.3% operative mortality, with an additional 6.8% dying following the operation; 12% experienced significant morbidity (in particular, extreme breathlessness). Of 91 patients who were culture-positive before surgery, only 4 were culture-positive after surgery.

Questions Facing Modern Medicine

The destitute patients suffering from multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis face the problem of not receiving proper treatment. This injustice pertains to the issue of human rights. Treatment and medication for chronic infectious diseases are accessible to those able to afford it, whereas others, like those living in impoverished countries, do not have access to this care. For example, areas such as Africa and Haiti, where there is not a strong foundation for healthcare, treatment is unavailable. As a consequence, only a small minority of affected people are treated.[12] In addition, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, countries like Moldova saw their health care system crumble and were unable to stop the rising spread of MDR-TB.[1]

See also

Community-based treatment programs such as DOTS-Plus, a MDR-TB-specialized treatment using the popular DOTS (directly observed treatment, short-course) initiative, have shown considerable success in the treatment of MDR-TB. These programs have proven to be a good option for proper treatment of MDR-TB in poor, rural areas. A successful example has been in Lima, Peru, where the program has seen cure rates of over 80%.[32]


  1. ^ a b "Scientific Facts on Drug-resistant Tuberculosis". GreenFacts Website. 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Iseman MD; Iseman, Michael D. (1993). "Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis". N Engl J Med 329 (11): 784–791. doi:10.1056/NEJM199309093291108. PMID 8350889. 
  4. ^ Centers for Disease Control (1991). "Nosocomial transmission of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis among HIV-infected persons—Florida and New York, 1988–1991". MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 40: 585–591. 
  5. ^ Edlin BR, Tokars JI, Grieco MH et al. (1992). "An outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis among hospitalized patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome". N Engl J Med 326 (23): 1514–1521. doi:10.1056/NEJM199206043262302. PMID 1304721. 
  6. ^ Pitchenik AE, Burr J, Laufer M et al. (1990). "Outbreaks of drug-resistant tuberculosis at AIDS centre". Lancet 336 (8712): 440–441. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(90)91987-L. PMID 1974967. 
  7. ^ Centers for Disease Control (1991). "Transmission of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis from an HIV-positive client in a residential substance-abuse treatment facility—Michigan". MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 40: 129–131. 
  8. ^ Fischl MA, Uttamchandani RB, Daikos GL et al. (1992). "An outbreak of tuberculosis caused by multiple-drug resistant tubercle bacilli among patients with HIV infection". Ann Intern Med 117 (3): 177–183. PMID 1616211. 
  9. ^ Centers for Disease Control (1990). "Outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis—Texas, California, and Pennsylvania". MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 39 (22): 369–72. PMID 2111434. 
  10. ^ Frieden TR, Sterling T, Pablos-Mendez A et al. (1993). "The emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis in New York City". N Engl J Med 328 (8): 521–56. doi:10.1056/NEJM199302253280801. PMID 8381207. 
  11. ^ Laurie Garrett (2000). Betrayal of trust: the collapse of global public health. New York: Hyperion. pp. 268ff. ISBN 0786884407. 
  12. ^ a b Farmer, Paul. 2001. The Major Infectious Diseases in the World -- To Treat or Not to Treat? N Engl J Med 345 (3):208-210.
  13. ^ Mitnick C et al. (2003). "Community-based therapy for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Lima, Peru". N Eng J Med 348 (2): 119–28. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa022928. PMID 12519922. 
  14. ^ Goble M, Iseman MD, Madsen LA, Waite D, Ackerson L, Horsburgh CR Jr (1993). "Treatment of 171 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis resistant to isoniazid and rifampin". N Engl J Med 328 (8): 527–532. doi:10.1056/NEJM199302253280802. PMID 8426619. 
  15. ^ Steering Group, Ernesto Jaramillo... (2008). Guidelines for the programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis: emergency update 2008. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. pp. 51. ISBN 978 92 4 154758 1. 
  16. ^ Ziganshina LE, Vizel AA, Squire SB. (2005). Ziganshina, Lilia. ed. "Fluoroquinolones for treating tuberculosis". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3): CD004795. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004795.pub2. PMID 16034951. 
  17. ^ Leimane V. et al. (2005). "Clinical outcome of individualised treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Latvia: a retrospective cohort study". Lancet 365 (9456): 318–26. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)17786-1. PMID 15664227. 
  18. ^ Schön T, Elias D, Moges F et al. (2003). "Arginine as an adjuvant to chemotherapy improves clinical outcome in active tuberculosis". Eur Respir J 21 (3): 483–88. doi:10.1183/09031936.03.00090702. PMID 12662006. 
  19. ^ Rockett KA, Brookes R, Udalova I et al. (1 November 1998). "1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces nitric oxide synthase and suppresses growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a human macrophage-like cell line". Infect Immunity 66 (11): 5314–21. PMC 108664. PMID 9784538. 
  20. ^ Zaitzeva SI, Matveeva SL, Gerasimova TG, et al. (December 2009). "Treatment of cavitary and infiltrating pulmonary tuberculosis with and without the immunomodulator Dzherelo". Clinical Microbiology and Infection 15 (12): 1154–62. doi:10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.02760.x. PMID 19456829
  21. ^ Butov DA, Pashkov YN, Stepanenko AL, Choporova AI, Butova TS, Batdelger D, Jirathitikal V, Bourinbaiar AS, Zaitzeva SI. J Immune Based Ther Vaccines. 2011 Jan 18;9(1):3. Phase IIb randomized trial of adjunct immunotherapy in patients with first-diagnosed tuberculosis, relapsed and multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB.
  22. ^ Chambers HF, Turner J, Schecter GF, Kawamura M, Hopewell PC. (2005). "Imipenem for treatment of tuberculosis in mice and humans". Antimicrob Agents Chemother 49 (7): 2816–21. doi:10.1128/AAC.49.7.2816-2821.2005. PMC 1168716. PMID 15980354. 
  23. ^ Chambers HF, Kocagoz T, Sipit T, Turner J, Hopewell PC. (1998). "Activity of amoxicillin/clavulanate in patients with tuberculosis". Clin Infect Dis 26 (4): 874–7. doi:10.1086/513945. PMID 9564467. 
  24. ^ Donald PR, Sirgel FA, Venter A et al. (2001). "Early bactericidal activity of amoxicillin in combination with clavulanic acid in patients with sputum smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis". Scand J Infect Dis 33 (6): 466–9. doi:10.1080/00365540152029954. PMID 11450868. 
  25. ^ Jagannath C, Reddy MV, Kailasam S, O'Sullivan JF, Gangadharam PR. (1 April 1995). "Chemotherapeutic activity of clofazimine and its analogues against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In vitro, intracellular, and in vivo studies". Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151 (4): 1083–86. PMID 7697235. 
  26. ^ Adams LM, Sinha I, Franzblau SG et al. (1999). "Effective treatment of acute and chronic murine tuberculosis with liposome-encapsulated clofazimine". Antimicrob Agents Chemother 43 (7): 1638–43. PMC 89336. PMID 10390215. 
  27. ^ Janulionis, E.; Sofer, C; Song, HY; Wallis, RS (2004). "Lack of activity of orally administered clofazimine against intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis in whole-blood culture". Antimicrob Agents Chemother 48 (8): 3133–35. doi:10.1128/AAC.48.8.3133-3135.2004. PMC 478499. PMID 15273133. 
  28. ^ Shubin H, Sherson J, Pennes E, Glaskin A, Sokmensuer A. (1958). "Prochlorperazine (compazine) as an aid in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis". Antibiotic Med Clin Ther. 5 (5): 305–9. PMID 13521769. 
  29. ^ Wayne LG, Sramek HA (1994). "Metronidazole is bactericidal to dormant cells of Mycobacterium tuberculosis". Antimicrob Agents Chemother 38 (9): 2054–58. PMC 284683. PMID 7811018. 
  30. ^ Stover CK, Warrener P, VanDevanter DR et al. (2000). "A small-molecule nitroimidazopyran drug candidate for the treatment of tuberculosis". Nature 405 (6789): 962–6. doi:10.1038/35016103. PMID 10879539. 
  31. ^ Andries K, Verhasselt P, Guillemont J et al. (2005). "A diarylquinoline drug active on the ATP-synthase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis". Science 307 (5707): 223–27. doi:10.1126/science.1106753. PMID 15591164. 
  32. ^ Shin, S., Furin, J., Bayona, J., Mate, K., Kim, J.Y., Farmer, P. (2004) Community-based treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Lima, Peru: 7 years of experience. Social Science & Medicine, 59, 1529-1539.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • multi-drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis — (MDR TB) A multi drug resistant strain is defined as Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, with or without resistance to other drugs …   Dictionary of microbiology

  • Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis — (XDR TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that is resistant to the most effective anti TB drugs. It has emerged from the mismanagement of multidrug resistant TB (MDR TB) and once created, can spread from one person to another.One in three… …   Wikipedia

  • Tuberculosis — Classification and external resources Chest X ray of a person with advanced tuberculosis ICD 10 A …   Wikipedia

  • Tuberculosis cutis orificialis — (also known as Acute tuberculous ulcer, [1] and Orificial tuberculosis [1]) is a form of cutaneous tuberculosis that occurs at the mucocutaneous borders of the nose, mouth, anus, urinary meatus, and vagina, and on the mucous membrane of the mouth …   Wikipedia

  • Tuberculosis treatment — Various pharmaceutical tuberculosis treatments their actions Tuberculosis treatment refers to the medical treatment of the infectious disease tuberculosis (TB). The standard short course treatment for TB is isoniazid, rifampicin (also known as… …   Wikipedia

  • Tuberculosis in China — Tuberculosis is a major public health problem in China. China has the world s second largest tuberculosis epidemic (after India), but progress in tuberculosis control was slow during the 1990s. Detection of tuberculosis had stagnated at around… …   Wikipedia

  • Drug resistance — is the reduction in effectiveness of a drug such as an antimicrobial or an antineoplastic[1] in curing a disease or condition. When the drug is not intended to kill or inhibit a pathogen, then the term is equivalent to dosage failure or drug… …   Wikipedia

  • 2007 tuberculosis scare — The 2007 tuberculosis scare occurred when Atlanta personal injury lawyer Andrew Drew Speaker flew from Atlanta, Georgia to Paris, France and then returned on a flight from Prague, Czech Republic to Montreal, Canada, when he crossed over the… …   Wikipedia

  • Latent tuberculosis — Infobox Disease Name = PAGENAME Caption = DiseasesDB = ICD10 = ICD10|R|76|1|r|70 ICD9 = ICD9|795.5 ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = eMedicineTopic = MeshID = Also called latent tuberculosis infection, latent TB or LTBI.Latent… …   Wikipedia

  • Miliary tuberculosis — Classification and external resources Miliary tuberculosis is characterized by a chronic, contagious bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis that has spread to other organs of the body by the blood or lymph system …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.