Isaakidis, Petros and Cox, Helen S. and Varghese, Bhanumati and Montaldo, Chiara and Da Silva, Esdras and Mansoor, Homa and Ladomirska, Joanna and Sotgiu, Giovanni and Migliori, Giovanni Battista and Pontali, Emanuele and Saranchuk, Peter and Rodrigues, Camilla and Reid, Tony (2011) Ambulatory multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment outcomes in a cohort of HIV-infected patients in a slum setting in Mumbai, India. PLoS One, Vol. 6 (12), e28066. ISSN 1932-6203. Article.
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Background: India carries one quarter of the global burden of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and has an estimated 2.5 million people living with HIV. Despite this reality, provision of treatment for MDR-TB is extremely limited, particularly for HIV-infected individuals. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been treating HIV-infected MDR-TB patients in Mumbai since May 2007. This is the first report of treatment outcomes among HIV-infected MDR-TB patients in India.
Methods: HIV-infected patients with suspected MDR-TB were referred to the MSF-clinic by public Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Centers or by a network of community non-governmental organizations. Patients were initiated on either empiric or individualized second-line TB-treatment as per WHO recommendations. MDR-TB treatment was given on an ambulatory basis and under directly observed therapy using a decentralized network of providers. Patients not already receiving ART were started on treatment within two months of initiating MDR-TB treatment.
Results: Between May 2007 and May 2011, 71 HIV-infected patients were suspected to have MDR-TB, and 58 were initiated on treatment. MDR-TB was confirmed in 45 (78%), of which 18 (40%) were resistant to ofloxacin. Final treatment outcomes were available for 23 patients; 11 (48%) were successfully treated, 4 (17%) died, 6 (26%) defaulted, and 2 (9%) failed treatment. Overall, among 58 patients on treatment, 13 (22%) were successfully treated, 13 (22%) died, 7 (12%) defaulted, two (3%) failed treatment, and 23 (40%) were alive and still on treatment at the end of the observation period. Twenty-six patients (45%) experienced moderate to severe adverse events, requiring modification of the regimen in 12 (20%). Overall, 20 (28%) of the 71 patients with MDR-TB died, including 7 not initiated on treatment.
Conclusions: Despite high fluoroquinolone resistance and extensive prior second-line treatment, encouraging results are being achieved in an ambulatory MDR-T- program in a slum setting in India. Rapid scale-up of both ART and second-line treatment for MDR-TB is needed to ensure survival of co-infected patients and mitigate this growing epidemic.
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