Acquired rifampicin resistance in thrice-weekly antituberculosis therapy: impact of HIV and antiretroviral therapy

Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Dec 15;59(12):1798-804. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu674. Epub 2014 Aug 25.


Background: Risk factors for acquired rifampicin resistance (ARR) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/tuberculosis coinfection, in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era, needs evaluation. We studied the impact of HIV and HAART on ARR among patients taking thrice-weekly antituberculosis therapy.

Methods: This cross-protocol analysis included patients with newly diagnosed, rifampicin-susceptible pulmonary tuberculosis, with and without HIV, enrolled in clinical trials (who took >80% of medication) at the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis between 1999 and 2013. All patients received rifampicin and isoniazid for 6 months reinforced with pyrazinamide and ethambutol in the first 2 months, given thrice-weekly throughout the study along with HAART in one of the groups. Outcomes were categorized and multivariate logistic regression analysis performed to identify risk factors for ARR.

Results: The per-protocol results included patients with tuberculosis: 246 HIV-uninfected patients (HIV(-)TB(+)), 212 HIV patients not on HAART (non-HAART), and 116 HIV-infected patients on HAART. Median CD4 counts of the latter 2 groups were 150 and 93 cells/µL, respectively, and the median viral loads were 147 000 and 266 000 copies/mL, respectively. Compared with HIV(-)TB(+), the relative risks (RRs) for an unfavorable response in the coinfected, non-HAART and HAART groups were 2.1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7-14.8; P<.0001) and 2.1 (95% CI, .9-5.2; P=.3), whereas for ARR, the RRs were 21.1 (95% CI, 2.6-184; P<.001) and 8.2 (95% CI, .6-104; P=.07), respectively.

Conclusions: HIV-infected patients with tuberculosis treated with a thrice-weekly antituberculosis regimen are at a higher risk of ARR, compared with HIV-uninfected patients, in the presence of baseline isoniazid resistance. HAART reduces but does not eliminate the risk of ARR.

Trial registration: NCT00332306.

Keywords: HIV; acquired rifampicin resistance; drug-resistant tuberculosis; intermittent therapy; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rifampin / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Rifampin

Associated data