Therapeutic strategies and outcomes of MDR and pre-XDR-TB in Italy: a nationwide study


BACKGROUND: Treatment outcomes in multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients are suboptimal in several low-incidence countries.

METHODS: The primary outcome measure was the proportion of successfully treated patients in Italy during an 18-year period. Secondary outcomes were treatment outcomes in certain drug-containing regimens and the possibility for the WHO shorter MDR-TB regimen. RESULTS: In the 191 patients included (median age at admission: 33 years; 67.5% male, following drugresistance patterns were found: MDR-TB in 68.6%, pre-extensively drug-resistant TB (pre-XDR-TB) in 30.4% and XDR-TB in 1.1% patients. The most frequently prescribed drugs were fluoroquinolones in 84.6% cases, amikacin in 48.7%, linezolid in 34.6% and meropenem/clavulanic acid in 29.5%. The median duration of treatment was 18 months. Treatment success was achieved in 71.2% patients, of whom, 44% were cured and 27.2% completed treatment. Treatment success rates did not statistically differ between the MDR- (68.8%) and pre-XDR-TB (77.6%) groups (P ¼ 0.26). Treatment success rates had large variability between North and South of Italy (81.3% vs. 53.3%). Only 22.5% of the cases would have been eligible for shorter MDR-TB regimens

CONCLUSION: Our study highlights variability in treatment outcomes in MDR- and pre-XDR-TB patients. Study findings confirmed the potential utility of linezolid and, for patients with limited oral options, meropenem/clavulanic acid and amikacin.

KEY WORDS: pre-XDR-TB; MDR-TB; DR-TB; outcome; treatment success; Italy

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