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Drug-resistant tuberculosis in HIV-infected patients in a national referral hospital, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  • 2015/01/22
Type of publication
  • Articles
  • Walls G
  • Bulifon S
  • Breysse S
  • Daneth T
  • Bonnet M
  • Hurtado N
  • Molfino L
  • Tuberculosis
There are no recent data on the prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR TB) in Cambodia. We aim to describe TB drug resistance amongst adults with pulmonary and extra-pulmonary TB and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection in a national referral hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Between 22 November 2007 and 30 November 2009, clinical specimens from HIV-infected patients suspected of having TB underwent routine microscopy, Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture, and drug susceptibility testing. Laboratory and clinical data were collected for patients with positive M. tuberculosis cultures.
M. tuberculosis was cultured from 236 HIV-infected patients. Resistance to any first-line TB drug occurred in 34.7% of patients; 8.1% had multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB). The proportion of MDR TB amongst new patients and previously treated patients was 3.7 and 28.9%, respectively (p<0.001). The diagnosis of MDR TB was made after death in 15.8% of patients; in total 26.3% of patients with MDR TB died. The diagnosis of TB was established by culture of extra-pulmonary specimens in 23.6% of cases.
There is significant resistance to first-line TB drugs amongst new and previously treated TB-HIV co-infected patients in Phnom Penh. These data suggest that the prevalence of DR TB in Cambodia may be higher than previously recognised, particularly amongst HIV-infected patients. Additional prevalence studies are needed. This study also illustrates the feasibility and utility of analysis of non-respiratory specimens in the diagnosis of TB, even in low-resource settings, and suggests that extra-pulmonary specimens shhould be included in TB diagnostic algorithms.