Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in the United States, 1993-2007

JAMA. 2008 Nov 12;300(18):2153-60. doi: 10.1001/jama.300.18.2153.


Context: Worldwide emergence of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) has raised global public health concern, given the limited therapy options and high mortality.

Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of XDR-TB in the United States and to identify unique characteristics of XDR-TB cases compared with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and drug-susceptible TB cases.

Design, setting, and patients: Descriptive analysis of US TB cases reported from 1993 to 2007. Extensively drug-resistant TB was defined as resistance to isoniazid, a rifamycin, a fluoroquinolone, and at least 1 of amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin based on drug susceptibility test results from initial and follow-up specimens.

Main outcome measures: Extensively drug-resistant TB case counts and trends, risk factors for XDR-TB, and overall survival.

Results: A total of 83 cases of XDR-TB were reported in the United States from 1993 to 2007. The number of XDR-TB cases declined from 18 (0.07% of 25 107 TB cases) in 1993 to 2 (0.02% of 13 293 TB cases) in 2007, reported to date. Among those with known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test results, 31 (53%) were HIV-positive. Compared with MDR-TB cases, XDR-TB cases were more likely to have disseminated TB disease (prevalence ratio [PR], 2.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-3.58), less likely to convert to a negative sputum culture (PR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33-0.94), and had a prolonged infectious period (median time to culture conversion, 183 days vs 93 days for MDR-TB; P < .001). Twenty-six XDR-TB cases (35%) died during treatment, of whom 21 (81%) were known to be HIV-infected. Mortality was higher among XDR-TB cases than among MDR-TB cases (PR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.10-3.02) and drug-susceptible TB cases (PR, 6.10; 95% CI, 3.65-10.20).

Conclusion: Although the number of US XDR-TB cases has declined since 1993, coinciding with improved TB and HIV/AIDS control, cases continue to be reported each year.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / mortality
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Directly Observed Therapy
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / mortality
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / mortality
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antitubercular Agents