Willingness to Take Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Preventive Therapy Among Adult and Adolescent Household Contacts of MDR-TB Index Cases: An International Multisite Cross-sectional Study

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jan 16;70(3):436-445. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz254.


Background: Household contacts (HHCs) of individuals with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are at high risk of infection and subsequent disease. There is limited evidence on the willingness of MDR-TB HHCs to take MDR-TB preventive therapy (MDR TPT) to decrease their risk of TB disease.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study of HHCs of MDR-TB and rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB) index cases from 16 clinical research sites in 8 countries, enrollees were interviewed to assess willingness to take a hypothetical, newly developed MDR TPT if offered. To identify factors associated with willingness to take MDR TPT, a marginal logistic model was fitted using generalized estimating equations to account for household-level clustering.

Results: From 278 MDR-TB/RR-TB index case households, 743 HHCs were enrolled; the median age of HHCs was 33 (interquartile range, 22-49) years, and 62% were women. HHC willingness to take hypothetical MDR TPT was high (79%) and remained high even with the potential for mild side effects (70%). Increased willingness was significantly associated with current employment or schooling (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.83 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.07-3.13]), appropriate TB-related knowledge (aOR, 2.22 [95% CI, 1.23-3.99]), confidence in taking MDR TPT (aOR, 7.16 [95% CI, 3.33-15.42]), and being comfortable telling others about taking MDR TPT (aOR, 2.29 [95% CI, 1.29-4.06]).

Conclusions: The high percentage of HHCs of MDR-TB/RR-TB index cases willing to take hypothetical MDR TPT provides important evidence for the potential uptake of effective MDR TPT when implemented. Identified HHC-level variables associated with willingness may inform education and counseling efforts to increase HHC confidence in and uptake of MDR TPT.

Keywords: contacts; drug resistance; preventive therapy; prophylaxis; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Tuberculosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant* / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant* / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant* / prevention & control
  • Young Adult