Setting: Tuberculosis (TB) program, Damien Foundation Projects, Bangladesh.
Objective: To summarize the outcome and its determinants of the first treatment for multidrug-resistant TB using a standardized regimen consisting of a minimum 9 months.
Design: This was a prospective, observational study of a gatifloxacin (GFX) based directly observed regimen, mainly with initial hospitalization. The 4-month intensive phase was extended until sputum smear conversion. Patients were monitored using culture for up to 2 years after treatment completion.
Results: Of the 515 patients who met the study inclusion criteria and were successively enrolled from 2005 to 2011, 84.4% had a bacteriologically favorable outcome. Due to extensive disease with delayed sputum conversion, only half of the patients completed treatment within 9 months; however, 95% were able to complete treatment within 12 months. Eleven patients failed or relapsed, and 93.1% of the 435 patients who were successfully treated completed at least 12 months post-treatment follow-up. The strongest risk factor for a bacteriologically unfavorable outcome was high-level fluoroquinolone (FQ) resistance, particularly when compounded by initial pyrazinamide (PZA) resistance. Low-level FQ resistance had no unfavorable effect on treatment outcome. Amplification of drug resistance occurred only once, in a patient strain that was initially only susceptible to kanamycin and clofazimine.
Conclusion: The excellent outcome of the Bangladesh regimen was largely maintained. Bacteriological treatment failures and relapses were rare, except among patients with high-level GFX resistance, notably in the presence of PZA resistance.