Phase II Trial of Recombinant interferon-alpha2b in Patients With Advanced Intractable Multidrug-Resistant Pulmonary Tuberculosis: Long-Term Follow-Up

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 1999 Mar;3(3):214-8.


Setting: Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, with Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to almost all of the available drugs.

Objective: Limited phase II trial with recombinant interferon-alpha2b in five chronic multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients.

Methods: Three million units of r-IFN-alpha2b were administered subcutaneously every week for 12 weeks. Before and after treatment, and during a 30-month follow-up period, the patients underwent clinical and radiological examination, together with bacteriological, immunological and routine laboratory testing.

Results: Two of the five patients became long-term sputum smear and culture negative after r-IFN-alpha2b therapy; one of the patients showed clinical improvement and negative smear after therapy, but remained culture positive. The other two patients showed no response.

Conclusion: The results of this trial suggest that r-IFN-alpha2b should be evaluated further in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in prospective controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / therapy*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / therapy*


  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins