Objective: To investigate whether adding moxifloxacin (MXF) to the standard anti-tuberculosis regimen can shorten the time to sputum culture conversion in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB).
Methods: Adults with culture-positive PTB were divided into two treatment groups by their choice: standard regimen alone (HERZ group) and standard regimen plus daily 400 mg MXF in the first 2 months (MXF group). Sputum samples were collected thrice weekly in the first 8 weeks. The propensity score was calculated to estimate the conditional probability of entering the MXF group. Factors influencing time to culture conversion were investigated using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis stratified by propensity score.
Results: Sixty-two patients were enrolled in the MXF group and 88 in the HERZ group; respectively 51 and 72 completed the study. The regimen was modified before culture conversion in respectively 6 (12%) and 12 (16%; P = 0.47) patients, due to adverse effects. The time to culture conversion was shorter in the MXF group (HR 2.1, 95%CI 1.4-3.2). The culture conversion rate after 6 weeks of treatment was respectively 82% and 61% (P = 0.011, <0.05/4, calculated using the modified Bonferroni method).
Conclusions: Adding MXF to the standard anti-tuberculosis regimen in the first 2 months was associated with a shorter time to culture conversion, a higher 6-week culture conversion rate and reduced transmission of tuberculosis.