Injectables' key role in rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis shorter treatment regimen outcomes

Tom Decroo, Aung Kya Jai Maug, Mohamed Anwar Hossain, Cecile Uwizeye, Mourad Gumusboga, Tine Demeulenaere, Nimer Ortuno-Gutierrez, Bouke C. de Jong, Armand Van Deun

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Background Since a meta-analysis showed little or no effect of second-line injectables on treatment success, and using injectables may induce ototoxicity, injectable-free rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB) treatment regimens are recommended. However, acquired resistance preventing activity was overlooked. No previous study assessed the effect of shortening the duration of kanamycin administration to 2 months during the intensive phase of the RR-TB shorter treatment regimen (STR). Methods Retrospective cohort study of the effect of using 2 months of kanamycin instead of the standard 4(+) months (extension if lack of smear conversion at 4 months) on recurrence (either treatment failure or relapse) and fluoroquinolone acquired drug resistance, in patients treated with a gatifloxacin-based STR in Damien Foundation supported clinics in Bangladesh. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations. Results Five of 52 (9.6%) treated with a STR containing two months of kanamycin had recurrence, compared to 21 of 738 (2.8%) patients treated with the standard STR containing 4(+) months of kanamycin (OR 3.7; 95%CI:1.5-10.3). In those with initially fluoroquinolone-susceptible TB, acquired resistance to fluoroquinolone was detected in none of 639 patients treated with 4(+) months of kanamycin and two (4.5%) of 44 treated with two months of kanamycin (OR 75.2; 95%CI:3.6-1592.1). Conclusion Two months of kanamycin was insufficient to prevent recurrence with acquired resistance to gatifloxacin, the core drug of the most effective RR-TB STR. Injectable mediated resistance prevention is important to reach high effectiveness, to safeguard all treatment options after recurrence, and to prevent the spread of resistant TB. Studies on all-oral regimens should also assess the effect of regimen composition on resistance acquisition. Until evidence shows that other drugs can assure at least the same strong resistance preventing activity of the injectables, it seems wise to continue using this group of drugs, and adapt the regimen if any ototoxicity is detected.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0238016
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020



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