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Tweya H.,The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease | Kanyerere H.,The National Tuberculosis Control Programme | Ben-Smith A.,Maame Akua | Kwanjana J.,The National Tuberculosis Control Programme | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Although the World Health Organization (WHO) provides information on the number of TB patients categorised as "other", there is limited information on treatment regimens or treatment outcomes for "other". Such information is important, as inappropriate treatment can lead to patients remaining infectious and becoming a potential source of drug resistance. Therefore, using a cohort of TB patients from a large registration centre in Lilongwe, Malawi, our study determined the proportion of all TB re-treatment patients who were registered as "other", and described their characteristics and treatment outcomes. Methods: This retrospective observational study used routine program data to determine the proportion of all TB re-treatment patients who were registered as "other" and describe their characteristics and treatment outcomes between January 2006 and December 2008. Results: 1,384 (12%) of 11,663 TB cases were registered as re-treatment cases. Of these, 898 (65%) were categorised as "other": 707 (79%) had sputum smear-negative pulmonary TB and 191 (21%) had extra pulmonary TB. Compared to the smear-positive relapse, re-treatment after default (RAD) and failure cases, smear-negative "other" cases were older than 34 years and less likely to have their HIV status ascertained. Among those with known HIV status, "other" TB cases were more likely to be HIV positive. Of TB patients categorised as "other", 462 (51%) were managed on the first-line regimen with a treatment success rate of 63%. Conclusion: A large proportion of re-treatment patients were categorised as "other". Many of these patients were HIV-infected and over half were treated with a first-line regimen, contrary to national guidelines. Treatment success was low. More attention to recording, diagnosis and management of these patients is warranted as incorrect treatment regimen and poor outcomes could lead to the development of drug resistant forms of TB. © 2011 Tweya et al.

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